Sermon On The Mound
by Noah Hefley
July 27, 2019
As you may know, I enjoy watching baseball and find it to be a relaxing activity. Many evenings, during the summer, I spend an hour or more watching one of my favorite teams. Though I admit I enjoy this time spent leisurely, still I don’t think I’ve ever taken this too seriously. I am not like the guy I heard about who said his wife had grown weary of his obsession with baseball. He said, “My wife calls me a baseball fanatic. She says that’s all I ever read about, talk about, or think about. I told her that she was way off base!”
This season has been particularly satisfying because it would seem that the baseballs are somewhat juiced and every night it feels like a Home Run Derby. I’ve never seen so many MLB players swinging for the fence and for good reason. This may very well be a record season for overall home runs and grand slams. I love it-because baseball can be a bit boring when there is little hitting! And there are some teams I don’t watch because they are terrible at hitting. They remind me of a comment made by the late, great Casey Stengel. A reporter asked him about a particular player on his team, “Can he hit?” Stengel said, “Can he hit? He couldn’t hit the ground if he fell out of an airplane!”
One of the greatest hitters in baseball was a player named Rogers Hornsby. He was part of a World Series St. Louis Cardinals’ team. His lifetime batting average was .358, second only to Ty Cobb. He hit more than 300 home runs in his career and in 1924 batted .424 for the season. That’s amazing!
How did he do it? Well, of course, he had natural talent. But Hornsby spent his entire career as a player without wavering in his discipline. He would not allow himself to do anything that would impair his career. For example, he never went to a movie for fear it would hurt his batting eye. He never smoked, drank, or stayed up late. He would only read the box scores in the newspaper, and nothing else, in an effort to protect his eyes from strain. He explained, “Baseball is my life, the only thing I know and can talk about, my only interest.”
I would not necessarily recommend that we follow exactly Hornsby’s example of discipline but I do think we can find inspiration in it. If Christ is our life, then don’t you think we should be willing to put anything out of our life that hinders our walk with Him? Maybe it’s time we start swinging for the fence in our Christian life! That’s my Sermon on the Mound-think about it!
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