April 26

Written by Bill Grandi on April 26th, 2023

Pete the Cat…Play Ball.

I suppose you might be wondering, “What in the world? Has Bill lost it?”  While some may have suspected that a time or two over the 70 years of my life, I have not. Least I don’t think so. 🙂   One thing I have learned is that lessons can be learned from a variety of places, people and events.  This past year I have had the A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E.L.Y.  most fun reading to the Kindergarten classes in our school district.  Five classes. Once/month. A different book each month. (The church’s youth pastor, Ryan, reads to two other classes).

This month was a read barn-burner-to the kids-but to me? Not so, but it wasn’t supposed to be. I mean, how excited can an adult get over a book read to Kindergarten kids about a cat? But the kids? They absolutely l-o-o-o-v-e Pete the Cat. They especially enjoyed Pete the Cat…Play Ball.

After I read I always try to draw out some lessons which come from the book. So…what did Pete teach them this time through?

  • Pete the Cat always tried his best. So should they. If their teacher has them working at their desk; if they are playing outside; if they are playing a game, they should always do their best.
  • Pete the Cat cheered his teammates on. The first batter got a hit and Pete yelled, “Way to go!” The batter after him (he struck out but tried his best) hit a home run. Pete yelled with a big cheer.
  • Pete’s team won. He high-fived the opposing team. The K-kids were quick to remind me they line up after the game and do that. They slap hands and say, “Good game” to their opponents.

I had fun reading and teaching the lessons, but their importance to me as an adult cannot be dismissed.

Do I always try my best or am I content with a lackluster effort? Do I look for shortcuts? Whether it is something I like doing or not, do I give my best effort?

Do I cheer others on with genuine support or am filled with envy and jealousy over another’s success? Do I see another’s efforts promoting the team or organization as good and not a threat to me? In my line of work (a pastor), am I happy to see Jesus promoted…no matter who does it?

Am I quick to high-five another’s success and not care who gets the credit? Competition in sports is good, but when someone becomes combative or cut-throat and resorts to cheating or gossip or back-biting, it spells the death of whatever good can be accomplished. I believe Ronald Reagan is credited with saying, “There is no telling how far an organization can go, and how it can succeed, if no one cares who gets the credit.”

Jesus once said, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to me.” I realize He was speaking of His crucifixion, but it begs an action from me.  My motive should never be to promote myself, but to promote Him. Not doing my best; putting others down; taking the glory for myself, is not promoting Him or His work.

Let’s take it from Pete the Cat. Let’s leave the bad stuff behind and let’s promote each other, but most importantly, Jesus.


12 Comments so far ↓

  1. Pam Williams says:

    I love that we adults can learn from children (children’s books included)! Dick does an object lesson every week even in services where there may only be one or two (or even none) actual kids. Years later adults will say, “I remember that object lesson you did at church when you …” !

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Pam. And that is so true about the adults learning! Sometimes I think we feel like we have to be so “educational” that we forget the simple is often better. I’m sure it makes Dick feel good to hear that his lesson meant for kids touched an adult life.

  2. Ryan S. says:

    Great life lessons, great teachable moments.

  3. So many children’s books carry messages that we can all learn from, Bill. As far as I’m concerned, Pete the Cat is a winner!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You wrote some great books yourself Martha! I loved your series (both of them) and recommend them to children. Of course, adults can love them as well! 🙂 And I agree: Pete the Cat was a winner.

  4. gail says:

    Life’s lessons never really change do they? All of them really starts with love one another, hmmm who was that, that started that whole love one another as I have loved you? If we could only get Jesus’s command to love one another down, imagine how many things would just fall into their proper place. We would look at people different, treat them with love, help them, encourage them and always be cheering each other on.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      yeah Hmmmm. 🙂 You have it right though Gail. What a difference it would make if we loved, helped, encouraged and cheered others on.

  5. Cheryl says:

    I love the Ronald Reagan quote you shared. That is just wonderful and so true! Many blessings to you.