GOODNESS GRACIOUS

By Tommy Rush

Last Sunday Night I watched the Futures All-Star Baseball Game for the first time. The Futures Game has been played annually since 1999, but Sunday Night when I came across the game on television, it was the first time I had ever seen or even heard of it. My grandson filled me in on all the history and details of the game. He told me that I have actually watched the game before but for the first decade or so the team names were different. For years the teams were selected from the minor league teams but the teams were called the World Team and the USA team. Today the players are still the future stars selected from minor league teams, but the team names have been changed. In 2019 the team names were changed to the National League and American League teams, the same as the Major League All-Star Game.

I have to admit that I’ve always had a difficult time watching an entire baseball game. I like baseball and I enjoy watching game highlights. I really enjoy watching the home run derby or a good inning or two of a World Series game, but watching an entire baseball game from beginning to end feels like watching the grass grow. Baseball Games can sometimes be painstakingly slow.

Sunday Night, however I found myself watching the entire Futures Game. I enjoyed the interviews with the young players and hearing them share their stories and love for the game. Throughout the game, the announcers and coaches were discussing each player’s top strengths and what the Major League Organizations were hoping to develop in their future star. Several times throughout the game it was said of one of the players,“this young man is destined for greatness.”

Now when it comes to picking God’s future stars, there’s one clue to future greatness that God looks for. He doesn’t look for the strongest, fastest, or best looking person. He looks for the person with the right heart. When the Lord chose Peter to be His disciple, Peter was inconsistent, unpredictable and extremely impulsive, but he had one trait that Jesus knew He could build a disciple with, an obedient heart.

I like the story in Luke 5:4-6 when Peter had been fishing all night without catching anything. Jesus instructed him to “put out into the deep water and let down the nets for a catch.” Peter said, “Lord, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.” Notice the words, “But because You say so…” Peter was a man with many flaws and failures, but Jesus honored Peter’s obedient heart. Notice the end of the verse, “And when they had done so they caught such a large number of fish their nets began to break.”

An obedient heart surrendered to God’s will is the heart God is looking for in His future stars. Just trust and obey His Word! We all find ourselves in difficult situations and circumstances in life. Sometimes we exhaust ourselves working throughout the night to overcome our problem. Instead we should listen close to whatever the Lord says we should do and then do it! That is the heart destined for greatness!


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