Probably has the distinction of having the shortest major league baseball career ever.
Harry was a gifted Dodgers ballplayer whose day of glory arrived in 1918 when he was called up from the minors to pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates. This was the moment he’d dreamed about, the beginning of a great career!
But Harry’s dreams began to fade when his first pitch was hit for a single.
The next batter tripled.
He walked the next batter on four straight pitches, and when he did throw a strike to the next hitter, it went for a single.
At that point, Hartman had had enough. He headed for the showers, dressed, and walked out of the stadium to a naval recruiting office, where he enlisted. The next day, he was in a military uniform, never to be heard from in professional baseball again.
Safe to say, ol’ Harry left baseball with an itty bitty confidence problem. And the tragedy of it all? Harry was good enough. But he threw away his confidence, and never tried again.
How many mountains go unclimbed, how many prayers go unasked, how many contacts go unmade because someone lost their confidence? No matter how grand your dreams, how deep your desire, or how committed you are to an idea or a relationship, nothing of any value will happen without well-grounded confidence.
Life isn’t always fair, and you don’t always get what you think you deserve. But you will receive what you expect almost every time.
Why do people who seem to have so much potential crash and burn when it comes to confidence?
1. Failure in the past.
Go on, admit it. It hurts to fail. And it’s devastating to fail publicly. Once they’ve tasted of that kind of pain, many people avoid it at all cost. This is especially true, for some reason, with spiritual failure.
Somewhere we’ve gotten the idea that the will of God is like an egg, and that when you fail, not even God can put Humpty ol’ you back together again.
Next time you think your failure has left you hopeless, check out the lives of the real heroes of the Bible: most of them succeeded greatly only after they had failed miserably.
2. Fear of the Future.
The root of procrastination, the heart of indecision, and the motivating force behind the pursuit of meaningless trivia is fear.
The watchwords of fear are, “What if…?” If somehow you can change that “What if…” in your head to “God is able…,” it could make all the difference in the world.
“What if” focuses on your inability; “God is able” focuses on His supernatural ability.
3. Misplaced confidence.
If our only source of strength or sufficiency was ourselves, we might have an excuse. But we serve an awesome God with unlimited resources. And the issue of all Christian confidence is, “How faithful do I expect God to be in this situation?”
So dream! Resolve! Commit yourself!
But remember, there’s a great reward for your confidence. Even when you can’t trust yourself, you can still trust the Jesus in you. And He’s the one who said, “According to your faith be it unto you.”