In things essential: unity.
In things doubtful: liberty.
In all things: charity.
Now the reason for the quote was that in the early church, there were factions starting to practice in different ways, especially in northern Africa. So the statement was meant to both unify, allow for some discretion and to refocus church leaders. Regarding the basics and fundamentals of the church, they all had to be unified without question. In some of the fringe issues, let the local church have some discretion. But regardless, have the welfare of the people at the forefront of your mind and heart. A solid message.
So how does this relate to softball?? I know right? Kind of crazy that I'd even TRY. But to tell you the truth, it's immediately what I thought about when I read the pastor's piece.
What are the essentials in softball? Defense. Hitting. Pitching. With pitching, either you have a good pitcher who can move the ball around, not walk people and field their position or you don't. Defense has some decisions to be made though: four infielders or five? Depending on that answer, people can be moved around too (some of our best athletes are either our best infielders or our best outfielders depending on where they play). Everyone though has to be on the same page as to what we should be playing and when. No dissenters. Unity.
While hitting is essential, there are different approaches: work the count (like I do) and take a walk if it comes your way and be a good two strike hitter. Or hit the first good pitch you see. Hit for power or have a high on base average. While hitting is essential, even during a game people will talk about changing their approach, taking more pitches and focusing on having quality at bats. Liberty, to some degree.
But in the end we all want to win and we enjoy playing softball. We don't attack each other if there's a mistake or dumb play. We support each other and enjoy spending the time out there. Maybe it's not the greatest analogy to "charity", but it's putting the greater good of the team and friends first, so maybe it's not that far off.