“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
The “Fall Classic” is here and it should be a good one. Every little boy who played “whiffle ball” in the yard and then went on to play in ‘Little League’ baseball has dreamed of making it to the ‘big leagues’ … and playing in the ‘Big Series’ known as the World Series.
It is the final game and my final at bat. I am on third base, leaning toward home, my only chance to win.
I can recall when I was young and watching the game from the dugout. Safe from the action on the field, I was trying to drink in everything about the game so I would succeed when it was my turn on the field.
I remember stepping onto the field and swinging the bat as it connected to the ball and I ran with happy strides to first base. I was young and fast and it was an easy task.
I made it to second on a fast run and a hard slide, barely getting under the tag. I could feel the pain in my shoulder when I stretched out on the dirt and in my fingers when my hand collided with the bag. I know it won’t be so easy to get to third. There are many strong opponents trying to take me out of the game. Trick plays by the opposing team, missed calls and rulings, and the dreaded injury!
The ball is hit hard to left field. I get the signal to run and I am ready to go. With steadfast focus I push myself toward the base. The third baseman is near the bag, waiting for the ball to reach his glove. But I am there and as he steps forward to catch the ball, he steps on my foot and I feel my ankle twisting in pain. He misses the ball completely so I am safe.
Now here I wait on third for the call to come home. I have dreamed about it all of my life. I am so anxious to get there. But I am not smiling. I wear a frown. The injuries I have sustained to get here are causing great pain and threatening my ability to actually make it to home plate. I cannot quit the game before I cross home plate!
I will never get to play in the World Series. But I can certainly see how life resembles one.
Just as there is order in the universe we live in … just as morning advances to afternoon and then to the night … each of our lives advances from youth to adolescence to adulthood and if by God’s will, we live to enjoy old age!
Just as the farmer prepares the soil for planting and plants the seeds for the anticipated harvest, he hopes then to harvest those crops receiving the fruit of his labor.
We must always remember that each of us needs to retain that “pressing on” spirit in our lives that our beloved Paul writes of in Philippians 3:14.
We have to go on living the Christian life even though we’ve been hurt or injured. And it’s a guaranteed thing we will be hurt in this life. We will experience disappointment, hurt and pain in some form or another and for one reason or another: because of the devil, sin, or perhaps just because the world that we live in is largely evil and bad things do happen to good people!
Lou Gehrig was one of the best to ever play the game of baseball. He would play the game he loved for some 15 years (1920’2-1930’s) before having to retire. It would be at that time that X-rays would be taken of both hands revealing that every finger had been broken at least once, but he never missed a game! He would play some 2,130 consecutive games … a record only surpassed by Cal Ripken.
The game of life will one day end for each of us unless the Lord comes first to judge the world! But when this game ends … batting averages, on-base percentages, pitch counts, ERA’s, the number of hits, extra-base hits, home runs, and stolen bases will not matter!
What will matter is what we have done with Jesus Christ and the good news and blessings found only in “walking in the light of His Word.”
Bill Fairchild, Jr.