A while back, three or four of my summers included playing in a church softball league. One of those years, a guy I’ll call “Tim” was the co-captain of the team.
At Delcastle fields on Friday evening, I wasn’t having a great game, and I made a costly mental error (e.g., forgetting an opposing baserunner was on third with only one out when I caught a pop fly, forgetting that there were two outs and not running when the ball was hit, etc.). When these things happen, “Get your head in the game!” is the frequent cry.
Tim had some choice thoughts for me after the game, and I retorted defensively with something about being glad God doesn’t get us for mental errors. Tim shot back with something about the religion department’s being a different matter. He came from a more strict background—one that assumed you had to get every precise point correct before you were following God.
Although I’m very interested in pursuing many of those “picky points,” I’m so glad that God’s grace doesn’t appear to be tied to my mental prowess. My errors—assuming they’re not intentional and rebellious—are covered. Both the behavioral errors and the mental ones are covered by grace. No matter what percentage of the time I’m right, His grace is His grace, and my acceptance on His terms makes the covenant complete, no matter what I get wrong logically.
Tim, wherever you are now, I imagine you’re playing softball and probably coaching your sons or pushing them through high school or college baseball. I hope you’re having grace toward them, and I hope you know more of God’s grace now than you did back then in Wilmington.