3 Strikes

With Big Name Pitchers, It Should Be Three Strikes & You’re Out! 

Ed, my neighbor next door, has no patience for athletes who do not perform well. Word that the New York Yankees have made a $175 million dollar investment, in Japanese pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, has Ed both impressed and depressed. Ed is impressed that the twenty-five year old pitcher can command such a huge contract. What spoils it for Ed is the possibility that injuries or the pressure of a major league spotlight might derail the young man’s potential. Ed claims that a top pick athlete comes or goes like the hiccups. Both are often temporary situations.

According to Ed, a $175 million dollar pitcher should be unbeatable with the result of strike outs with every batter. I asked Ed if it wouldn’t get monotonous if it was always batter up and batter struck out. He ignored my question as if it was too silly to answer. So I told Ed that if the pitcher were that good at pitching, he and the catcher could handle the game, when it was the opposing team’s time to bat. They wouldn’t need any basemen, short-stops or outfielders. This just got Ed irritated and he quit talking and left.

Should is a word we use on others. Should a high pay pitcher always deliver a strike out against every batter? Does should imply, the need for always, with the obligation or duty to strike out any and every batter? When a person is watching baseball from the bleachers or an armchair, should is an easy word to demand of the players. Other folks should do a lot of things in our view, but we aren’t so eager to do all we should do ourselves.

In the Bible Jesus met a Samaritan woman at the well at the town of Sychar. She was stuck on what should be done when it came to Samaritans and Jews. Jesus asked her for a drink, but she was sure Jews should have no dealings with Samaritans. If she gave him water to drink from the well, he would touch the water vessel she had touched and become ceremonially unclean. Jesus wanted her to think in terms of the living water or the spirit of God, but she was focused on the obvious, as if God was no more mysterious than the drinking water in her pail. The woman was focused on where to worship God. The Samaritans worshipped God on the mountain of Jacob. The Jews felt God should be worshipped at the temple in Jerusalem.

Jesus asked her to call her husband so she could realize God is spirit and truth and able to see our sins plainly. Worship of God isn’t about where we worship, but from one’s heart directed by truth. Our worship of God is from the love of Him in our hearts, so that, we love Him with all our soul, mind and strength. Jesus told the Samaritan woman that he was the Messiah, the Christ and that God must be worshipped in spirit and truth. Love or spirit for God comes from our heart so that, as we love him, so we worship Him. Truth comes from God’s word. Love and truth are how we worship God wherever we are.

 

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Raymond Maher
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