The concept of ChangingZipCodes.com is more than a website for those relocating. It’s a metaphor for any change in one’s life. Maybe you’re slogging through a messy divorce or paddling upriver to find a new job in this economy. Possibly you’ve lost a loved one and your identity as a son, daughter, wife or husband has evaporated. Life has a way of throwing us curve balls when we least expect it. The challenge, to be prepared for handling life’s crises as you stay with the team.
It might help to picture yourself as a catcher for a baseball team. A catcher has an eye on everything going on in the game and communicates with the pitcher to devise the right strategy to get the opposing team’s batter out. The catcher has to pay attention to the game and be ready for any type of pitch – curveball, sinker, slider, fastball or the infamous knuckleball. If he’s talking with the ump or daydreaming about his big date that evening, he’ll miss the ball. So, as a crisis hits, the first step we need to do is pay attention to our life.
Step No. 2: Our catcher needs to have his mitt up, ready to receive the ball. The mitt, broken in through years of use and softened with oil, is his tool of trade. Always ready for action, his leather-clad hand could be the means to a win or loss for his team. As the catcher has prepared his mitt, we need to put up our mitt to catch attacks directed at us.
Thirdly, the catcher guards his head with a mask and his body with a chest protector. The head is where our mind makes important decisions and reacts to life. Like a catcher, we need to wear the mask to protect our mind. A clear head can help us make make wise, sensible choices.
The heavily-padded chest protector guards against damage to the catcher’s vital organs. A fastball zooming at him at 90 mph could do some serious damage to our catcher’s chest and torso. When we face changes we need to go out of our way to pad our lives with people who encourage and build us up.
Finally the catcher’s position, squatting behind the plate, shows he’s prepared for the game. He’s situated himself adjacent to the player up to bat. He’s not in the outfield, the infield or at second base. He’s exactly where he needs to be to help his team, and he’s always there. When Woody Allen said “80 percent of success is showing up,” he was right. Our catcher knows his position. It’s home plate and he’d better show up there.
So, when life flips you over like a pancake turner, remember to 1) pay attention, 2) keep your mitt on, 3) strap on your vest and face mask, and 4) stay in position. In times of upheaval, consistency and dependability in your routine will see you through. Get back to home plate. Your team is depending on you.
Note: For a different and much better version on learning to be being prepared, check out Ephesians 6:10-18 in the New Testament. These verses give very helpful and practical advise.