Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Out At Home Plate

Out at Home Plate



The greatest year in baseball history had to be 1924. The World Series

that year between the old Washington Senators and the New York

Yankees was considered a classic. The series was tied at three games

apiece, with the final, seventh game played in Washington. In the

ninth inning of the seventh game, the score was tied, two to two.

New York came to bat. Three batters up and three batters down.

The Washington fans started screaming. Washington could win

the game with a run in the bottom of the ninth.


The first two Washington batters were unable to reach base. With

two outs, up to the plate stepped a batter by the name of Gauseland.

The fans felt their hopes die because Gauseland was not that good

a hitter. The pitcher threw two strikes. Then two balls. When the

pitcher threw his fifth pitch, Gauseland stepped into the pitch,

and by the crack of the bat you knew the ball was going somewhere

way out in left center field.


The center fielder went back. The other fielders also ran toward

the fence, hoping the ball would not go over the fence for a home run.

The ball hit the top of the fence six inches from the top. It caromed

off the fence, and one of the fielders chased it down. Gauseland,

meanwhile, was between second and third bases. The third base coach

thought this might be the only chance to win, so he waved Gauseland

home. The throw from the outfield was taken first by the shortstop,

and then relayed to home plate. Gauseland slid into home just as the

catcher pegged him with a perfect throw from the shortstop.

Everyone could see that Gauseland had beat the throw. Still,

the umpire yelled, “You’re OUT!”


The fans went crazy. They threw pop bottles and yelled obscenities

when the plate umpire conferred with the other men in black.

Then the men on the field signaled for silence. Everybody got quiet.

The fans thought they would reverse the call, but the umpire shouted,

“The runner is not out because he didn’t beat the ball to the plate.

He is out because he didn’t touch first base!” It was true. Gauseland

was running so hard that he simply failed to touch first. He was out.


You can do a lot of good and noble things in your life, but unless

you touch first base, it won’t matter too much. Nicodemus was

a good man, but he hadn’t touched first base. He thought he could

achieve Heaven just by keeping the Law. To Nicodemus Jesus said,

“I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is

born again.” (John 3:3) Jesus doesn’t want perfect people.


He wants YOU.

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