As a dad who taught his sons to play baseball, I know the satisfaction that comes when they become ballplayers in their own right. It was gratifying to sit in the stands at their games and watch them use their skills.
I recently read an illustration by Timothy Keller involving baseball that helps us understand and our desire to please our Heavenly Father:
“Imagine a father watching his young son play baseball for his team, having spent hours in the yard teaching him batting technique. This father already loves his son fully and completely. If his son forgets his father’s instructions and strikes out, it will in no way lessen his father’s love for him or his approval of him. The son is assured of his father’s love regardless of his performance.
But the son will still long to hit that home run. Not for himself to gain his father’s love – but for his father, because he is already loved. If he doesn’t know his father loves him, his efforts will be for himself – to win that love. But because he knows his father already loves him, his efforts are for his father – to please him.
Having a good view of God’s mercy provides us with a powerful assurance, and the possibility of and motivation to live a sacrificially obedient life, pleasing to God.”