Professional baseball is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. Baseball reminds me of a really important habit we have.

I’ve  enjoyed many games and all that goes with this iconic pastime. I can still feel the hot yellow sun while walking 2 miles to the Milwaukee Brewers stadium so many years ago. Tailgate parties were filled with laughter and burgers – both tasted good in my mouth as I observed life without looking right at it. I remember innocent dates. And once Hollywood came there to film a few movie takes.  It was a time of growing up and figuring things out. This is how my heart remembers the game and reminds me of my new perspective for winning at life.

Typically this game forces our hopes on the batter’s swoosh and crack of the bat, wishing the ball to life when it silently takes flight. But I like to watch the field where players jump and dive, catching fly balls and bouncing ground balls. And then what?

Think about this: There’s a reason the players don’t have a glove on both hands. Once that ball lands in their glove, they have to decide what to do with it. They have to know how to catch the ball, but more importantly where to direct it. That’s the difference between winning and losing.

We all have deeply ingrained habits of catching and holding onto things. We “catch” and collect possessions, beliefs, relationships, and, yes, prejudices, the way some collect autographed baseballs.

We collect things that make us feel valuable. But our value doesn’t depend on what we acquire, right? We are born with immeasurable worth. This internal worth that God created us with should be expressed by what we hold on to and, just as importantly, what we let go. That’s what shapes our life.

We hang on to a lot of painfully destructive stuff that doesn’t add value to our lives but in fact diminishes it. Sometimes we just forget that there’s a lot of unproductive worn-out stuff taking up space in our life. So, choosing carefully what to hold on to and what to let go of is one of the hardest and most important habits to change. Only then do we live like the most valuable players that are meant to be.

Whenever you reach for something, think about what your heart and soul might need to let go of to really get a hold of what will change up the game you’re playing. I don’t mean you should just “drop the ball” and run, (that’s how people get hurt). Look at the whole playing field. Pay attention to what you’ve collected and then reach, jump, stretch and catch what’s coming your way to win this game called life.