I was actually watching when Juan Nicasio, Colorado Rockies’ pitcher, was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of the Washington Nationals’ Ian Desmond. The impact and fall broke Nicasio’s neck. In the last few seasons, there have been several similar incidents with equally frightening consequences. Brandon McCarthy, Doug Fister, Hiroki Kuroda, Chris Young, and now J.A. Happ are other pitchers to have been hit in the head by a batted ball from 60 feet, 6 inches away. It is remarkable that none of them died. For men who throw the baseball as fast as 100 miles per hour and men with the hand-eye coordination to serve it back with the added momentum of the swing of the bat, the effect is like a launched missile. Major League pitchers only have a baseball cap, and figuring out how to improve the protection is difficult. A full-fledged helmet is too unwieldy and likely would add to pitchers’ danger. Others have suggested Kevlar lining inside the cap. The debate will likely rage on, and pitchers will remain exposed to this vulnerability.
Spiritually, you and I are also in a vulnerable position. Our heads are exposed to various dangers on a daily basis! Whether it be “philosophy and empty deception” (Col. 2:8), destructive distortions (2 Pet. 3:16; Gal. 1:7), “worldly and empty chatter” and false knowledge (1 Tim. 6:20), “empty words” (Eph. 5:6), the basic principles of the world (Gal. 4:3), and other, similar and dangerous ideas, we must protect our heads! Thankfully, God has given us protection. Ephesians 6:17 speaks of the helmet of salvation that will help protect us against dark powers and evil spiritual forces. Paul calls the hope of salvation a helmet in 1 Thessalonians 5:8. Isn’t it interesting that our salvation is meant to protect our heads from the forces of evil? Do we maintain strong faith in the sacrifice of Christ? Does it motivate us to resist the world’s deadly enticements? Lose that hope and you could not be in a more vulnerable position! Hold onto that hope and you are impervious to Satan’s fiery darts! But, no one will make us wear this helmet! That’s our own job as individuals. Yet, let us constantly remind ourselves of what is at stake. Protect your head!