This is the performance base. Third base is all about success-sucess in our careers, in our families, in everything that we do. Third base, however, is not the end. You do not score on third base because success that lasts ultimately brings about the eternal purposes that God has intended in life.
I remember watching my nieces and nephew when they played tee-ball as youngsters. It is so fun to watch as little kids are wearing baseball hats two sizes too big take turns getting up to bat. The objective is very clear: hit the ball off the tee and run around the bases. I’m sure you have seen it, but I remember one little kid nailed the ball and it went flying over the pitcher’s mound. He stood at home plate stunned that he could hit a ball that far. His parents and the coach starts yelling, “Run!” as every defensive team member runs to get one ball. The little boy takes off running in a fury, right toward third base! He then turned around (still holding the bat) and high-tailed it right back to home plate. In his mind, he hit a home run!
The pattern of the world tells us to run toward third base first. We are such a performance-driven society that finds value in what we do and the results we generate. We were built for work, but Satan takes the design of God and flip-flops it around to confuse us. When we run bases backwards, though, there is an immense pressure to cheat home plate: cheat integrity, and cheat paying the price of preparation.
God allowed Joseph to experience success in Potiphar’s house. Then, he was cast into prison as a result of being obedient to God, because sometimes the will of God will imprison you right into the center of His will. God had given Joseph favor and allowed him to interpret dreams. But he thought that Potiphar’s dream was all about his own rise, but God was at work in a much greater way.
God will never invest Himself in a dream fueled with selfish desires. God is always at work in much greater ways than our selfish interpretations. Ultimately a nation was spared. God’s vision is always bigger than ours.