Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Baseball Bailer

Bo and Sarah go to a Houston Astros game last Monday night. They’re sitting in a very logical place at Minute Maid Park to possibly get some foul balls hit their way. Even Sarah said, “As soon as we got here and I saw where we were sitting, I said 'Baby, I'm going to get hit." Her boyfriend replied, “No, you won't. I'll catch it if you do.”

In a few minutes, Bo got his big opportunity. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Houston’s third baseman, Chris Johnson is at the plate with a 2-2 count. Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Minor zings an 80 mph ball in to Johnson which he fouls into the stands. Yes, you guessed it correctly. It headed right to Bo and Sarah.

Most guys would love to catch a foul ball at a major league baseball game. Some guys want to catch one so badly, they bring a glove to catch it with. Bo, however, saw the ball coming, instantly got up and moved out of the way. He turned back to where Sarah was sitting just in time to see the ball hit her in the forearm.

As if he didn’t feel bad enough, the cameras were rolling, caught the whole thing on film, and the network even sent a reporter over to their seats to interview them. He said his reason for moving away is that he couldn’t see the ball well due to the glare of the lights. All of Houston is calling Bo “The Bailer,” since he bailed out on his girlfriend.

Most of the time, we have the best intentions. There aren’t many who wake up in the morning and decide to harm others before the day is over. However, it isn’t long for most of us before we fall to the pressure of doing what we intended to do or not do.

How many times have you vowed to eat better, exercise more, watch less TV, control your temper, be more romantic, meet an old friend for lunch, go to bed earlier, read your Bible more or establish a quiet time with God? Perhaps you could add many more things to the list of well intended goals. The fact is, we want to do and be better, but we just fail at times making it happen.

Henry Ford once said, “You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.” The same sentiment exists in the saying, “It's always easy the night before to get up early the next morning.” Saying what we are going to do is easy. Making it happen is harder.

Jesus illustrated this in one of His parables. "What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' " 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. "Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. "Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. (Matthew 21:28-31a NIV)

Jesus was talking to the religious leaders in Jerusalem. His point was that doing was more important than saying. While He was speaking to the Pharisees and priests that day, He says the same thing to us today.

Whether we are promising to catch a foul ball to keep someone from getting hit, or vowing to do a better job at something, actions do indeed speak louder than words.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25 NIV)

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