Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Bat Boy (Dr. Jim White)

 Tonight's entry is from Dr. Jim White. For several tears, Jim and I lived in York, Nebraska where our families were both involved with York College. Over the years, Jim has worked with a number of Christian colleges and he presently is minister for the Southwest Church of Christ in Omaha. On a personal level, Jim was unbeatable in Whiffle Ball and although we are not exactly related, his wife is the first cousin of my first cousins! Please keep me in your prayers as I enter my second week in Vietnam.

     It had been an exciting afternoon. It was my first trip to TD Ameritrade Park to see the very first game ever played there in the College World Series. Vanderbilt and North Carolina were locking horns trying to win to advance in the series. Players were playing hard. The game had started a little slowly but it had gotten interesting when I noticed him.
     He looked like a miniature player for Vanderbilt. It was a young boy wearing a Vanderbilt uniform. He stood in the entrance of the dugout entranced in the game. On his back wasn't a number, but BB standing for Bat Boy. When a player would hit the ball and run out his hit, this young man would sprint (and I don't think that's too strong a word) to recover the bat and put it in its proper cubby hole in the dugout. When a foul ball was hit back toward the screen, he ran as hard as he could to retrieve the ball. The ball park had employed a young lady to collect all the foul balls. But it seemed as if this young man was on a mission to get the ball before she could hardly get out of her place.
He had no influence on the outcome of the game. The players virtually ignored him. The bats and helmets seemed supersized to this little boy. But he did everything with such enthusiasm, with such vigor, with such pride. I wonder if he received any credit from the team. Did anyone encourage him as he conducted his duties? Was he truly appreciated for picking up after the players? Basically what I saw was a servant.
Jesus said no servant is above his master. In describing a judgment scene, God is portrayed as saying to those who have been given entrance into heaven as, "Well done, good and faithful.....servant." Jesus got on his knees and washed the apostles' feet, a task that was generally reserved for the household servant.
     Servants seemingly get no credit, are often overlooked, and rarely acknowledged as valuable. But I would dare say that God has His eyes on those who make themselves servants. Because it's in serving that we find our place, our mission. And wouldn't you want to be noticed by the One who rewards those who are noticed by no one else? Kind of like that young man who was the Bat Boy.

The greatest among you will be your servant.  Matthew 23:11 or as Eugene Peterson puts it, “Do you want to stand out?  Then step down.  Be a servant.”

God bless,
Luke 18:1

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