The way we think defines who we are

Published 5:50 am Sunday, October 8, 2017

When we talk about life being filled with possibilities, we usually imagine someone stepping into our situation and helping us achieve our goals. True, there are times when we can depend on the generosity of others however, God has given each of us a sound mind and unlimited potential if we can only learn how to activate these internal resources.

I recently read a true story that was told by Hugh Fullerton, a famous sports writer many years ago. His account involved a man named Josh O’Reilly who managed the San Antonio baseball team that was a part of the Texas League. O’Reilly had an impressive roster of all-star players, including seven whose batting average was over three hundred. Everyone thought this super-team would easily win the championship but mysteriously they began the season losing seventeen of their first twenty games. For some reason the players could not hit the ball and as time went by, frustration boiled over into angry accusations against each other.

Just when it seemed the situation could not be worse, they were beaten badly by a weak Dallas team and managed only one hit the entire game. In the clubhouse after the embarrassment, the players were confused and depressed to say the least. O’Reilly knew he had the most talented team in the league but also realized the trouble was in their mind. They were not expecting to get a hit and were not anticipating a victory because they were thinking wrong. They had slowly allowed doubt and discouragement to fill their heart with negativity and defeat. Their mental focus had turned against them and had literally created difficulties not only with their confidence, but also physically with timing, strength and coordination. And yet, they were the only ones who could change the situation.

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The story continues that a certain minister named reverend Schlater was very popular in the area at the time and he was drawing large crowds as his messages were filled with positive and faith filled encouragement. O’Reilly asked each player to lend him their favorite bats, to which he loaded into a wheelbarrow and told the players to stay in the clubhouse until he returned.

He was gone about an hour and returned overflowing with excitement as he told the players this preacher had blessed the bats and they now contained a spiritual power that could not be stopped. The players were astounded and jumping with enthusiasm. The next day they overwhelmed Dallas with 37 hits and 20 runs scored. They continued their way through the league schedule and convincingly won the championship.

Regardless of what we believe about praying over the bats, we can agree that something very powerful happened within the minds of the players. It was not the bats that changed but with a new way of thinking, the creative power of faith blossomed. Good news! Mark 9:23 declares this spiritual principal is available to all who believe.

Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author and community outreach chaplain.