by Buzz Dahlen
Have you ever wondered to yourself or perhaps been asked by an insurance agent, “Are you covered?” It never fails, we think we are and then something happens and we find out that we are not covered. Too often, we find out the hard way…
Being an umpire is one of those vocations where you want to make sure that you are covered. Unfortunately, you can’t (I can’t anyway) cover every part of the body and still be able to move around enough to ump the game. It never fails; the ball will find the place where there is no protection. Last weekend I realized this truth once again, oh so painfully.
This summer ball season has been pretty good for me as far as not being hit by any wild pitches or foul balls. Oh, I’ve been nicked here and there, but no real hard, bone shaking smacks. Pretty good, that is, until this last weekend. I was behind the plate, and having a good game, I might add, when a pitch was fouled off and blew past the catcher’s right shoulder. There was a left-handed batter up to the plate which means my right side was exposed. WHAM! Right on the shoulder, right on the bone, right above the socket. Holly Molly that hurt. I yelled, “Foul!” and walked away from behind the plate. Everybody knew that it must have hurt, but a good umpire never lets anyone see him cry. So, I walked over near the dugout to see if there was some place that I could hide and let the tears flow. There was no place to hide… So I pretended that I needed some more baseballs, then decided that I should check the bats, just incase any had been broken lately. I stopped to get a drink of water and then went and brushed off the plate. It was still hurting, but they won’t let you stop the game just because you got hit. So back behind the plate I went and continued on, although, I couldn’t throw the ball out to the pitcher anymore.
Somehow, my chest protector, which has shoulder protection, had slipped down just enough to expose a little bone area. It is as if the baseball can sense exposure and seeks it out. I tell you what; I won’t let my chest protector slip down again. It still hurts and it’s been a week.
So, what’s my point? Are you covered? There are two realms, the physical or worldly and the spiritual or heavenly and there is a battle going on all the time heavenly realm. Most of the time, most people are not aware of what is going on in the heavenly realm, but every once and a while we get a sense of the “spiritual warfare” that is going on in our lives. This is why we need to be sure that we are covered.
Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Eph. 6:10-17
The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. A person who has all of these on can be assured that they are covered. We’ll take a closer look at what each of these “coverings” can do for us. For now, just know that you need them and they are available to all who have given their life to Christ. Are you covered?