Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Be Perfect

Baseball was my first love growing up. This is from August 15, 2012.
I have a confession to make; I don't like watching baseball. I say it's a confession because I played baseball in college and was a high school baseball coach for six years in Georgia so I feel kind of guilty. With that being said, I watched my first inning of baseball of the year this afternoon. But it wan't just any old game or any old inning. I had just showered and was dressing at my fitness club after swimming shortly before 5:00 PM and was watching PTI (Pardon The Interruption) on ESPN. Well, in an odd play on words, they interrupted the show and went live to Seattle. The Mariners' Felix Hernandez was pitching a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays going into the ninth inning and the network picked up the live broadcast of what could be an historic event. In the more than one hundred twenty years of major league baseball, there had only been twenty-two perfect games in which a pitcher allows no runners to reach base. In dramatic fashion, Hernandez set the Rays down 1-2-3 in that ninth inning, setting off a wild celebration among teammates and in the stands. It was the best five minutes of television I've seen in a very long time. King Felix, as he is fondly known is my new favorite player!

And yet, when I look in the box score for the game, I see Felix Hernandez was not quite perfect today, if you want to get picky. The umpire called thirty-six of his pitches balls. Rays' batters also fouled off eighteen pitches and put fifteen pitches into fair territory. To me, absolute perfection would be eighty-one pitches, all strikes, and no opposing batter would make any contact with wood on leather sphere. But that's never happened and it's overwhelmingly improbable it ever will. The last thing Jesus told us in the first chapter pf the sermon on the Mount was to, 'Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.' I don't think I've ever seen any scholar or commentator teach Jesus meant sinless perfection. That would mean doing something no one besides the Savior Himself has ever accomplished. But the completeness of life with the Lord, that is perfection in a definition that I can strive for. In my unattainable definition of pitching perfection, Felix Hernandez came up short some four hours ago. But in the only definition that really matters, he was flawless and historically so. We should all be so perfect.

Applicable quote of the day:
"For love is a willful stirring of our thoughts unto God, so that it receive nothing that is against the love of Jesus Christ, and therewith that it be lasting in sweetness of devotion; and that is the perfection of this life."
Richard Rolle

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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