Stay in Your Lane Bro

I received a re-post of an article that appeared on Baseball Life that really got me thinking. I’ll summarize it but here is the link:
https://www.sperrybaseballlife.com/stay-at-17-inches/ .
Its really worth the time if you have the opportunity. Its about a speech that retired Cal Poly Pomona baseball coach, John Scolinos made in 1996. Mr Scolinos appeared on stage with a home plate on a string hanging from his neck. He spoke for 25 minutes never mentioning his unique accessory. Most of the audience had some doubts about his mental health until he finally addressed the elephant in the room. He asked  any Little League coaches in the room to raise their hands. He then asked one of those with uplifted hands how wide the plate was. Someone finally answered 17 inches. He repeated this process going all the way to the Major League professional level. The answer was the same through all the levels- 17 inches. He went on to explain that if a pitcher can’t throw a pitch consistently within that 17 inches that they wouldn’t be successful no matter what level they were playing.
He further explained that home plate wasn’t widened to accommodate those who were unable to throw strikes. From there, Mr Scolinos spoke about accountability and not changing standards to reward mediocrity. As I said earlier, the review of his speech is definitely worth a click.
I won’t go into a rant how we have become a society that applauds mediocrity with participation awards but this article did sound an alarm about how we have changed our standards to the point where most aspire to be only OK.

I’ll admit that one of my favorite commercials is the ATT tattoo one about OK is not OK for a wireless network. (Here is a link if you have not seen it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClXfWgKAIEI
I can’t help but laugh every time I hear the tattoo artist makes statements to the nervous young man like : “I’m one of the tattoo artist in the city.” and ” Relax, it’s going to look OK.” and finally when the young man asks if isn’t the artist going to draw the design first, the tattooist replies, “Stay in your lane, Bro”.  Nothing he says speaks to an effort to strive for excellence in his work.
Needless to say, this tattoo parlor would probably not receive very high ratings on Yelp but unfortunately it may be a case of art imitating life.

I’ll try not to get up my soap box but I fear that we are headed for trouble when OK becomes the gold standard so someone won’t feel bad if they don’t make it. Changing standards to fit the culture isn’t the answer.

My wife sews and she knows how much a yard of material is. Before a standard was set, a yard was determined to be the length of the king’s arm from finger tip to shoulder. The buyer hoped the king was a Shaquille O’Neal type where the seller was hoping for more of a Tom Thumb type. Now Sherry knows exactly how much material she’ll get when she goes to the cutting counter.

We had an adjustable basketball goal when our kids were growing up. I would often crank it down to a level where I could dominate dunking the ball at will. My kids couldn’t understand why I couldn’t do it on a regulation rim.  I changed the standard so that it appeared that I was better than I was.  Instead of being ready for Hoosiers, I was, in actuality, the stereotype  for White Men Can’t Jump.  Standards aren’t really standards if they constantly change.

Now its time to climb down off my soap box and stay in my lane.  I can’t control others but I can determine when OK is enough and when it is not for me.

I have my last physical therapy session this week for my rehab from my surgery.  As well as I’ve done so far, after walking with my wife and our dog last night, it became quickly apparent that my leg is only OK with still a long way to go.  I don’t want to be satisfied with only OK; I want to be at least the level I was before the injury if not better.

On the other hand I sometimes rate myself as an OK christian when I take a look around at others. That’s the problem.  When I compare myself to others, I’m lowering the standard.  Jesus is our example.  Even aspiring to be like godly Christians falls so far short of the standard that God expects. God, through Jesus gave His best.   I’m a sinner so I will always fall short but that doesn’t mean I should stop trying or lower the standard by making excuses so that I can feel good about where I stand.  Thankfully, I can depend on the fact that I’m not judged on my righteousness but His.

That’s why I’m so thankful that Jesus is always the same.  He promises to always be with us, even to the end of the age. One of my favorite verses is:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
He is a standard that will never change, never fail.  He is not dependent on culture, political correctness, or popular opinion.
I know this is a departure from my normal and next time I’ll probably go back to telling stories on my crazy family or my weird self but I wanted to share this warning from a wise man.
I’m also sure that some may read this and tell me to “Stay in your lane, Bro.”
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