The Pursuit of Good

Have you cast aside the word “good” in favor of words with more pizzazz like “awesome.”

Have you set it aside in favor of words that portray more enthusiasm like “phenomenal.”

If you were to describe your softball play in 1 word would you choose the word “good” or something more intimidating like “relentless.”

I must confess that the word “good” has seldom passed through my lips. I’m a motivator for crying out loud. People get to choose what they are going to read. Who they are going to train with. Their time is valuable and I’m competing with “fantastic focus” “tremendous power” who wants to hear/read about a simple word like “good.”

That was until a trusted friend challenged me recently, partially in jest, but none the less I was challenged. They called to my attention that in Genesis chapter 1 God created the heavens and the earth. All that was in them. As He looked down after each day He saw that it was …. wait for it … wait for it … He saw that it was “good.”

That’s right. We are talking about the creation of the entire universe. About the creation of puppies. About the creation of mountains and mountain views. About the creation of Oceans and babbling brooks. About the creation of stars. About the creation of trees that yield cocoa beans for crying out loud. About the creation of very precious human beings. All that and it was good.

If God’s perception of those things was that they were good I’d be hard pressed to explain what I really mean when I say tremendous to describe how a hitting session went.

So yeah my friend sort of had my immediate attention and I promised them I would carefully think it through and write an article about the word good. Always the student I first decided to check out Wikipedia thinking it shouldn’t take more than 5 seconds to copy and paste their definition. Have you looked up the word good lately? I was overwhelmed at just how many different areas of life the word good is used in and how valuable the word has been through history. Here is 1 example I pulled straight out of Wikipedia:

Summum bonum is a Latin expression meaning “the highest good”, which was introduced by Cicero,[1] to correspond to the Idea of the Good in Greek philosophy. The summum bonum is generally thought of as being an end in itself, and at the same time as containing all other goods

Cool stuff huh. So good that it’s an end in and of itself and contains all other goods. Awesome. Fantastic. Tremendous. All consumed by the word good.

I know you were hoping for a good post on softball which is why you were on this site so let me transition to just how valuable the word is in relation to softball. Imagine you are a member of a softball team …

Would you like a defensive player who is tremendously athletic and once per year dives in the air to catch a line drive and while still in the air does a back tuck and throws the ball back to double up a runner while upside down or would you like a defender who consistently makes good plays?

Would you like a batter who has phenomenal power and can hit the ball 943.7 feet if the wind is blowing out and the pitch is a perfect 52.5 miles per hour right at the belt down the middle or would you like to have a player who has good situational awareness and consistently produces runs?

Would you like a speed burner who runs from home to first in 1.3 seconds but can’t follow the ball after she gets on base or would you like a good base runner who capitalizes on every opportunity presented to her?

Would you like a player with a cannon for an arm but who frequently misfires that cannon under pressure, or would you like a player with a good arm who understands that the perfect throw involves an out not her looking good doing it?

I’ve watched so many teams in the recent past lose games because they couldn’t get a bunt down. A bunt for cyring out loud. You stick your bat out and stop the ball from going into the catchers mitt. How badly do you think the coach would have settled for a good bunt in those situations?

How did this happen to our sport? We can’t even bunt any more because that’s not good enough to be worthy of practicing and taking pride in. Seriusly?

When did we lose sight of the value of “consistently good?”

Coaches are your tryouts even geared at finding the players who are good or are they like so many that I see where dozens of players are quickly run through, and each gets 5 swings. One lucky phenomenal swing and a player makes the team. A good batter who hits .450 each season but gets 5 bad pitches from the dad throwing the ball is sent packing.

Players when did y’all stop trying to be good. When did you leadoff hitters replace the fact that your job was to get on base with the idea that you needed to look awesome by swinging like the cleanup hitters? When did you decide that fielding 50 ground balls and making 50 good throws to first base wasn’t good enough? When did that become boring to you and need to be replaced with throwing 49 balls away while trying to make your throw look remarkable?

My friend was absolutely right. That’s why she’s a trusted friend. I suppose I could state the obvious a good friend. There is tremendous value in the word good all by itself. It doesn’t need to be bedazzled. It doesn’t need any bling. It doesn’t need to be something it’s not. Guess what you don’t either. You are perfectly created in the image of God and He sees you as “good.” So stop the frantic pace of trying to be more than that. Likewise stop assuming that anything you do can detract from that.

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