Finishing Strong

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us                                                                                                                                                                                            Hebrews 12:1

Since I am a baseball guy, I have this image of a baseball player, maybe an aging outfielder playing what may be his last game. He knows it, maybe others do too, maybe they don’t. But he is on the field on October 1, the last day of the long season. His team is hopelessly out of the playoffs, and have been for weeks. The game he is playing has no value for either team, both just playing out the string. It is late in the game, his team down by four runs in the eighth inning, and fans, the few that showed up, have mostly long abandoned this contest.

The pitcher winds up and delivers a ball that the batter sends screaming on an arcing line toward the outfield. Runners on first and second move with the hit as it appears to be well out of fielding reach. Our aging outfielder responds immediately, tracking the ball as it soars into the outfield gap, headed for extra bases. He does not give up on it. He tracks it toward the wall, leaps at the ball and makes contact with the ball and the wall at the same time. He crashes down, the ball in his glove. He manages to right himself, and throw the ball into the cut-off man who completes the double play on the stunned runner who had occupied first base.   

The game, that season, are essentially meaningless, and those around him have essentially given up on it. The fans had mostly left, and the game meant nothing in the standings, yet he poured himself out on the last play of his last game ever.

This is the scenario I think about when I think about effort- effort to the end. The aging fielder is doing his very best to the very end, no matter what others thought about the meaning of it. It meant everything to him.

That dear readers, is how I want to go out. How about you?

Prayer: Lord, help us to finish strong, doing the right thing for the right reasons, Amen.

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