If you don’t hit the ball you are out. Unless you get four bad pitches before you get three good ones. Run really fast if you hit it. Unless you hit it on the wrong side of the white line. Or unless they catch it. But they have to catch it before it hits the ground. You can run past first base and home plate, but not second or third base. Step on the base to get someone out. Unless you have to tag them.
If children only see baseball as a bunch of rules everyone knows but them, it is easy to get discouraged and just quit. When they get confused and do the wrong thing, everyone seems to get mad and upset. It is easier to just not play. But with patience and teaching, children learn to love the game of baseball. They learn that the rules make sense and that they even make the game more fun.
Thinking about how confusing baseball is to an outsider makes me wonder how many people look at Christianity and see it as just a bunch of rules no one understands and no one follows. Even when they try to follow the rules, it seems so hard to get them all right. Some Christians seem to get mad and upset when other people do not know and follow the rules. Some even get so discouraged that they give up on God because they really do not get it.
Unless someone has the patience to teach them and show them that Christianity is not just a set of rules no one can understand or follow. Christianity is about a relationship with God and Jesus. It is about being loved and learning to love. When you begin to understand that, you realize that what appears to be a set of rules is actually a way of life enabling you to live a life of love, peace, and joy.