January 27, 2014

I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end.
– Psalm 119:112 (New Living Translation)

Just give me the ball! You could see the tenacity in his eyes each time he took the mound. His illustrious career spanned 22 years culminating in his selection to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Greg Maddox was never overpowering at 6’0” and 170 pounds. He looked more like your college math professor than he did a professional baseball player. Yet, put him on the bump and he morphed into a bulldog, strong, determined and not easily defeated. Maddox was the model of consistency pitching over 5000 innings and winning 355 games, numbers that will be hard to duplicate in today’s game. Once asked about pitching even though his team was out of playoff contention he replied, “I don’t care if we are out of it or not, if I’ve got a chance to pitch, I want to.” Give me a team full of athletes with that attitude and we will win some games.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we too must be tenacious. The Christian walk is not for the weak of heart. It takes the same bulldog tenacity that Greg Maddox demonstrated when he took the ball and walked to the mound for each of those 5,000 innings. There will be insults, hardships, troubles and even persecutions as we walk the road less traveled. We must learn to hold on when times get hard, we must do all we can to resist the temptation to quit too soon. Our goal for each day and each lifetime should be to start well and end well. Good things take time and we are usually rewarded for our effort and commitment. Greg Maddox is a Hall of Famer. When we hear those words, “well done, good and faithful servant”, we’ll know that our reward is set not just for a lifetime, but for eternity.

Heavenly Father, thank you for being a tenacious God. You never quit, You never give up, and You can’t be stopped. Teach me to put my complete trust in You and to walk with You in faith. Amen.

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