It was the 1925 World Series. The Washington Senators were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates. The game was close. Finally, Goose Gosling of the Washington Senators came to the plate. The ball was pitched. Strike 1! The catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher. Goose readied himself again. The pitcher let a screaming ball loose toward the plate. Strike 2! Goose stepped out the batters box. He took a step or two. He stepped back into the box and readied himself. The pitcher wound up and flung another pitch. Goose caught the ball with the sweet part of the bat. It was a long drive into Center field. Goose took off running. He rounded first as the ball passed the Centerfielder. He ran toward second. He rounded third as the fielder threw the ball toward home plate. Goose made a running dive for home as the catcher caught the ball and spun to tag him. It was a photo finish.
The crowd jumped to their feet. Some screaming “He’s out.” Others screaming, “He’s safe!” The umpire didn’t say a word or make a call for a minute. Finally, he signaled for a megaphone and motioned for silence. An eerie hush fell on the field.
The umpire spoke. He said, “We have seen some great playing today. Both teams have been good sports and have shown why they deserve to be in this series.
Now, Goose touched home plate before the catcher tagged him. The stands erupted! After a moment, the umpire called for silence again. Goose beat the play at home. The problem is, he never touched first.
People began shouting. “But this is Goose! This is the World Series!” After the noise died down, the umpire continued, “I know this is Goose and I know this is the World Series, but you can’t go home, unless you touch first.
The same is true in our lives my friends. You may go to second and be a good friend. You may go to third and be baptized or attend church. You might even preach or serve as a missionary in some foreign land and believe you’re heading for home, but it doesn’t matter at all, if you haven’t touched first. Nothing in the world you do matters in the end, if you haven’t first taken care of your relationship with Jesus Christ.
I invite you today, won’t you take care of that most important relationship? Won’t you take the time today, to get to know that friend Who sticks closer than a brother?
From Gene Gregory’s Sermon: Fundamentals of Friendship