Don't Give Up
By Joel Warren
This was an especially warm July, the year was 1987. Baseball was not my favorite sport to play, but it was a great way to pass the time during those dog days of summer.
One of my biggest regrets in life was standing in a batter's box while other 14 year old boys learned the skill of the curve ball. I felt like a test dummy waiting for the impact of the ball hitting my back.
During the first playoff game of the season, we faced Earl Massingill, AKA, "Earl the Pearl," the hardest throwing pitcher in the league. Batting first, I was the lucky kid who had the pleasure of seeing Earl's curve ball, the one he had been perfecting all winter.
I approached home plate, and was not prepared for Earl's wrath. Earl had grown a few inches and added some bulk in the offseason. To make matters worse, I looked over at my dad, and he was looking down at the round, seemingly afraid of my situation.
Earl stared me down, and prepared for his first pitch.
All I knew to do was pray, "God, please don't let this be the last thing I see on this beautiful planet!" Earl let the ball go, and I could see the seams of the ball spinning. I knew it was the curveball. Mid-prayer, I leaned back and waited on the ball. If I was going to connect bat to ball, I knew it was only something God could do!
"Boom!" The aluminum bat sent the ball straight towards the outfield wall. I was stunned as I watched the ball hit the wall. I rounded the bases on the way to my first triple. (You didn't honestly think I hit it out of the park, did you?!)
I learned the truth of the statement, "Pray as if it depends on God, act as if it depends on you." I prayed for God to protect me, and I swung the bat.
As we, at St. Patrick's begin to sow seeds into our community, this statement is also true. We must pray for God to make Himself known in our community. Pray for God to grow our church, and in return increase impact for Christ in our community.
Then, it is imperative that we move to action. We become intentional about inviting our friends to St. Patrick's, and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in their lives.
Sowing takes time and effort. The apostle Paul knows this, and says in Galatians 6:9, "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
Don't give up.