The Paige Pitch (Diet for Dreamers)

Never let your head hang down.  Never give up and sit down and grieve.  Find another way.  And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines. —Satchel Paige

He attracted record crowds wherever he pitched, and for close to 15 years and throughout countless innings, he was considered “unhittable”! Today, decades after he reigned on the pitcher’s mound, his fastball is still the stuff of legend. According to a 2010 article in Sports Illustrated, Leroy “Satchel” Paige (July 7, 1906 to June 8, 1982) was “perhaps the most precise pitcher in baseball history — he threw ludicrously hard. And he also threw hundreds and hundreds of innings.”

In 1971, Paige was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame — the first African-American player to earn the distinction. In 1981, veteran actor Louis Gossett Jr. portrayed the pitcher in the biopic Don’t Look Back. In 1999, Paige was ranked Number 19 on a list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players. And in 2006, he was further honored when a statue of Satchel Paige was unveiled in Cooper Park, in Cooperstown, New York.

But of far greater interest, Paige was positive proof that sometimes dreams can take years to completely achieve — but you’re never too old to pursue them! The world-famous pitcher had practiced, played, and pursued baseball since he was 10 years old, batting around discarded bottle caps with a stick, always dreaming about the diamond sport. His mother once commented that Satchel would rather “play baseball than eat. It was always baseball, baseball.” And yet, it took nearly four decades for him to make the big leagues!

Along the way, Satchel encountered a few bumps in the road to success. He earned his nickname as a kid, while carrying luggage at a train station. Because he could only earn a dime for each bag he carried, the youth devised a clever means of making more money to help support his struggling family: he would place two bags at each end of a sturdy pole, and then carefully lift the pole to his shoulders. Walking through the station while balancing the weight of four bags was backbreaking work! And one of his fellow porters remarked that Paige looked like a tree that was growing satchels!

There were other, moral and emotional, struggles the youth faced. After frequently skipping school and occasionally shoplifting, Paige was arrested at age 13 and committed to reform school — for five years. But the determined dreamer spent those years practicing baseball with a savvy Alabama coach who helped Paige develop a great deal of his pitching strategy. Talk about God working all things together for good! (Romans 8:28)

Satchel Paige once said, “…Age is a state of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”

Paige also had to deal with racism and bigotry. Throughout the 1920s and 30s he played only in the “Negro Leagues.” He also pitched in exhibition games for barnstorming teams across the United States; and he even played baseball in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. But it wasn’t until 1948 that he signed his first big league contract, for $40,000 with the Cleveland Indians. Thus, at the age of 42, Paige became the oldest major league rookie in baseball!

The journey to fulfilling his dream had been long and difficult, but Paige felt he was still “young” enough to make the most of his success. He played baseball until he was 60! In fact, even after his “retirement,” he stayed active in a variety of pursuits. He published his autobiography, coached, made appearances on TV game shows, and even ran (unsuccessfully) for a Missouri state assembly seat.

And in 1969, at 63, Paige returned to the mound for an exhibition game. Between innings he sipped coffee in the bullpen while resting in a rocking chair. But during the game he showed his stuff — and struck out another baseball legend, Don Drysdale!

Satchel Paige always pursued his life and dreams with the enthusiasm of a young man. Whenever a reporter would ask Paige about his advancing years, in regards to pursuing his love of baseball, the pitcher would simply reply, “If someone asked you how old you were — and you didn’t know your age — how old would you think you were?”

Have you been chasing a dream for years? Do you wonder if you’re getting too far along in life to ever catch it? Here’s a thought we’d like to pitch to you. We call it the The Paige Pitch: You’re only as old as you think — and you’re never too old to pursue your dreams!

“I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” (Isaiah 46:4 NLT)

“…The people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32 ASV)


Good Things Come to Those Who Wait (Diet for Dreamers)


Recording artist John Waller once stated, “Each person has his or her own challenges, life issues, and difficulties and if we could pull back the curtain and see backstage into the real lives of each person, you would see a more accurate picture. You would see how people really get through their daily lives, the decisions they make, and even the why behind the choices they make. Ultimately, when everything is stripped away, it comes down to FAITH.”

We’ve frequently mentioned the importance of faith in the life of the dreamer, the goal seeker and, really, anyone who wants the best possible future. Often the road to reaching our desired goals is long and riddled with the potholes of adversity. Faith is the premium fuel that ensures we don’t “run out of gas” long before we finish our journey in life.

Having faith in something (or someone) means putting your complete trust in it. People almost always let you down — they are, after all, only human — but God never fails. So, who are you trusting with your future and well-being?  Are you entrusting your dreams and goals to the God of the Universe?

Having faith that God will enable us to realize our hopes and dreams means we accept their fulfillment as a “done deal.” And although trusting God seems simple enough, there’s actually a bit more to it.

Having faith sounds easy — until we don’t see anything happening. Months and even years can go by, with nothing to indicate that we’re any closer to reaching our dreams. For a man or woman of real faith, this is where the rubber meets the road.

As A.W. Tozer points out, there is active (genuine) faith and passive faith: “True faith is not passive but active. It requires that we meet certain conditions, that we allow the teachings of Christ to dominate our total lives from the moment we believe.” (In the Dwelling Place of God) In other words, if our faith is genuine, we’ll LIVE LIKE WE BELIEVE IT! We’ll also be able to wait patiently for God’s promises, whether His promises are the fulfillment of a dream, the salvation of a loved one, or the answer to some other prayer.John Waller waited 17 years for God to fulfill his dream of writing and performing contemporary Christian music. Waller, a Georgia native, started as the frontman for the musical group According to John. All the right people started noticing his talent, and he seemed to be on his way. But then the group disbanded. Waller’s dream was suddenly put on hold — indefinitely, for all he knew.

Waller had to wait in faith…a very long time. Waiting takes faith — real faith — and like faith, waiting is active and never passive. Passive waiting (in passive faith) is just marking the days like a prisoner in a cell: feeling down, whining, wanting the dream to come true while acting like you’re not really sure if it will.

Active waiting (in active faith) means staying positive, being thankful, always doing the right thing, and generally being about God’s daily “business.” After all, if you were waiting to close on a commercial business deal, would you just sit and think about that one deal — or would you be out taking care of your existing business interests?

Waller chose to be active while he waited. He and his wife moved to Colorado and helped launch Southlink Church. Although Waller had put his  dream of being a recording artist on hold, he spent some of his time writing songs for worship services in the new church. “Suddenly” — in God’s perfect timing — Waller found his way back on the radar of influential people. Provident Music Group signed Waller to a contract, and then introduced the talented singer/songwriter to a wider audience that led to a national platform for his music. Waller went on to write and perform the song “While I’m Waiting”  in the movie Fireproof, the most popular independent film of 2008.

“God always provides,” Waller once stated. “He always comes through and one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that God’s plan for each one our lives is not going to look like someone else’s. …God has a unique plan for me. I’ve had to learn to not compare myself to someone else and it’s hard not to do that especially in this industry. You want to measure your success by what you see others doing. …I’ve had to let that go and know that I am successful … by God’s standard and not by man.”

Waiting on a dream? Trust in God’s perfect timing, and focus on doing His will. Jesus said, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13 King James) Then answers to your prayers will come. In fact, good things come to those who wait (actively)!

“He called ten servants of his, and gave them [resources] and told them, ‘Conduct business until I come.'” (Luke 19:13 World English Bible)