In baseball, a team has to be strong up the middle - especially on defense. Catcher, second base, shortstop, and centerfield have to be manned by strong defenders. Then a team has to have some pop in the bats from the first and third basemen along with the left and right fielders. A team can't have too many left handed hitters or else the left hand pitchers will dominate them (a problem with the Tribe!). Great teams have a consistent starting pitching rotation with lefties and righties. The front end of the bullpen also has to have a solid assortment of lefties and righties. Finally, every team needs a reliable closer.
The Cleveland Indians are looking for a right handed hitter, a starting pitcher, and a left handed reliever. I have been a Cleveland fan for 25 years. I am conditioned. Odds are that they won't make a trade that will make a big difference. And we will fade out of contention and be left hoping to win again next year.
Thinking about the trade deadline has caused me to ask a question: What trades must I in my own personal life in order to be better for Christ and His kingdom?
Here are 5 ingredients for a great trade... for your life.
1. Know what's needed for greatness.
If you don't know the profile of a great team, you won't know the parts you need. So, you can't make a trade to help the team.
What makes for a great life? Have you defined that? Most of us don't. So, we don't know what we need to add to our personal profile.
Why not grab a Bible, a journal, and a pen and take a few minutes to write down what you think are the key characteristics of a well-lived life?
To use concepts from Will Mancini's Vision Frame work, what's your personal mission statement? What are the values you want to hold? What are the strategies you need to use? What's the profile to the kind of disciple you wish to be? Where do you think you need to be in 2-3 years?
Answering these kinds of questions will help you know what you need to achieve the greatness God has in store for you.
2. Identify what you are lacking.
Baseball teams that go on to greatness can't afford to be soft or sentimental when it comes to self-analysis. And neither can we.
What are your most glaring voids? In your life, what needs to be fixed the most? What 2-3 changes could you make that might make an 20% difference in your life - that might move you from C/B level living to B/A level living? It takes courage to admit these voids, but it's necessary.
3. Scout around for resources.
Baseball teams have general managers and scouts that are on the lookout for the talent they need.
What are the resources you need to make a trade? Think prayer, Bible study, scripture memory, relationships, accountability, books, conferences, podcasts, and friendships.
4. Get the guts to make the trade.
Great general managers in baseball are not afraid to pull the trigger and make the deal. Not everyone will like the trade. But standing still is not an option. You have to get rid of the old to gain the new.
In life, we will have to trade something we like to get something else of better value. There are only 24 hours in a day. So, something will likely have to go. TV, web browsing, trivial reading, and time wasting will have to decrease so you'll have room in your life for the trade.
5. Stay the course.
In baseball, once a trade is made, there are always the doubters - the second-guessers. But a strong general manager will not flinch when the criticism comes. Instead, he will trust that the trade will make a positive difference. Evaluating a trade in the beginning of August is foolish. You have to wait until the end of September to evaluate the trade.
In the same way, the man or woman who makes a personal trade has to stay the course to see the difference. Many people seek make a change, but don't see immediate results and revert back to the old life. We have to learn to look at the results over the long haul. Make the trade, stay the course, and watch God work in your life in new, fresh ways.
Question: What trades need to be made in your life?