You may not remember what you did last Wednesday night, but I well remember what I did.
After leading in Wednesday Worship at my church, I participated in a church ministry team meeting and had a couple of extra conversations. While I don’t remember what time I arrived at home, I remember exactly when I walked in the house.
It was the seventh inning of the seventh game of the World Series between the Giants and the Royals. The Giants led 3-2 with its third pitcher of the night on the mound.
I was mesmerized by the situation and drama.
Madison Bumgarner, a twenty-five year old left handed pitcher, came in relief in the fifth inning in one of the most tense situations in all of sports.
What made this so significant is that Bumgarner is not a relief pitcher. He’s a starting pitcher who had already won two games of the 2014 World Series, the last only two nights before.
By bringing in Bumgarner, the Giants took a giant (pun intended) gamble. Could he hold up on such a short amount of rest? Would he be effective? Would this be the end for the Giants?
He pitched amazingly. If they kept statistics this way, Madison Bumgarner would be the most effective World Series pitcher ever. He pitched two and one-half games and gave up only one earned run. His series earned run average (ERA) was 0.46, an unheard of number.
Of the Giants four wins to take the series, he won three.
Bumgarner so interested me that I stayed up for the trophy ceremonies. Bumgarner was named the series Most Valuable Player. I listened to his speech and determined by his accent that he grew up in the deep south. I knew almost nothing about Madison Bumgarner, but I was determined to learn about this winsome pitcher.
Here’s what I found. He grew up as a baseball prodigy in Hickory, North Carolina, (I’ve been to Hickory a number of times. Martha’s late sister’s family still lives in the area) and married his high school sweetheart.
I learned this as well. He became a follower of Jesus Christ at age sixteen at the influence of his mother. His is not a silent faith.
When asked what he wanted people to know about him, he answered this way: “The biggest thing I want people to know about me is that I’m a believer, that I’m a Christian, not just that I’m a baseball player. . . . I’ll always kneel down and pray before the game. I try to lead that lifestyle and make it where people can recognize that.”
He continued by saying that Jesus Christ meant everything to him. “He’s my Savior. I live for Him . . . . I don’t want to live for myself–I want to live for Him.”
I thank God for an active faith by a young man on the biggest stage. But, what about you and me? We also have a stage–work, family, friends. What are you doing to live for Christ before your children? Are you faithful to Him at work?
What are you doing with your stage?
“Let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and glorify the Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:7).
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