We all have heard the song before that we believe the children are the future, but young athletes can be easily influenced by what our pro athletes do. Two weeks ago, Carlos Guillen flipped his bat during a home run while staring at it rather than just jogging around the bases. He basically showed up Angels’ ace Jered Weaver leading to bad blood throughout the game. Well, this incident repeated itself during a Little League World Series regional game earlier this week.
I love watching the Little League World Series on ESPN. I even got to go to the event three years ago when my hometown made it to Williamsport, but the coverage now includes regional semifinal games being telecasted. In a Southwest regional semifinal on Tuesday, New Mexico was battling Louisiana. In the 4th inning, Caesar Garcia hit a three run homer to deep center to give his team a 6-4 lead. However, he flipped his bat and stared at the home run as he hit it before running the bases. New Mexico would go on to lose the game 14-6.
ESPN has had all the coverage of Little League and the kids obviously want to use the fame they get for two weeks to their advantage. Take a look at this tweet from one of the phenoms in the Major Leagues, Stephen Strasburg:
“Pretty sad seeing 12 year olds pimp home runs and throwing all curve balls. Times have changed…”
We instead need to encourage children to look to the Lord and put their faith in Jesus Christ. Children are ones to believe anything that they are told without need of an explanation. Take a look at the Gospel of Matthew. The disciples ask Jesus about who the greatest is going to be in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus calls a child over and tells them “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4)”
Jesus also warns his disciples that to not lead the children astray from Him. It is similar to kids imitating what their favorite athlete does wrong on and off the field. “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
Today, I exhort you to encourage the young children of this world in the ways that are right with the Almighty Father. We never want to take people off the narrow path. Instead, we should encourage them to stay on the right path especially in helping people make their faith stronger. If we do something like hit a home run, I pray that you do it with the utmost class and praise God for giving you the talent to accomplish your goals.