Summary: Life is like a world series ball game.
THE WORLD SERIES GAME
I Cor. 9:25 "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."
INTRO.- ILL.- The song goes like this:
Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.
Most of us, if not all of us, have heard that song sung many times. I liked it when old Harry Cary used to sing it. He couldn’t carry a tune, but he made that song live!
ILL.- Here’s a poem entitled, "Baseball."
The game of baseball is the king
Of all the games we play
And it is one pursuit that is
The people swarm into the stands
To watch their favorite teams
And munch their hot dogs when their lungs
Are not engaged in screams.
The pitcher hurls the horsehide and
The batter gets a hit
Or else the ball goes sailing and
Some fielder smothers it
A clever runner steals a base
A player takes a walk
Or managers and umpires
Decide to have a talk
The crowd is gay or gloomy or
Completely in suspense
But it goes wild when someone knocks
The ball beyond the fence.
Brethren, for many Americans, baseball is still our national sport or national pastime. Many have played it and most love to watch it. And we are certainly going to be watching it here in Mattoon next week! The Cal Ripken Jr. World Series of baseball!
What’s so great about Cal Ripken Jr.?
ILL.- Just this. Most of you may well remember that baseball player Lou Gehrig is called the "iron man of baseball" for a very good reason. For 15 years in the 1920’s and 30’s he played first base for the New York Yankees. He played 2130 consecutive games. And after he retired they X-rayed both of his hands and found that every finger had been broken at least one time, YET HE NEVER MISSED A GAME! He played even though he was hurt. That says something about his character.
And yet Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s record. When Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s record on Sept. 6, 1995, the people stood and cheered him for 22 minutes and 15 seconds.
And by September 19, 1998 Cal Ripken Jr. had played 2632 consecutive ball games. What a record! And what a ball player! And what a man!
And we are certainly honored to have Cal Ripken Jr. here in Mattoon and be able to host this world series of baseball.
ILL.- In the popular 1994 movie "Forrest Gump," Forrest with an IQ of 74 said, "Mama always said, ’Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’"
I also have a quote and it’s from me. I say that "life is like a baseball game...a world series baseball game."
PROP.- In this message I want to compare our lives to a world series baseball game.
1- We’re on a team, so be a team player
2- We have a coach, so listen to Him
3- We will win, so look forward to the end of the game
I. WE’RE ON A TEAM, SO BE A TEAM PLAYER
Baseball is a team sport therefore you have to be a team player. You can’t just play for self or for self-glory.
You can be an outstanding player but most outstanding players are team-players.
ILL.- I ran 14 marathons over a 10-year period. Some were good, some were poor, some were slow and some were fast. Some were exciting and some were not so exciting.
But the best race I ever ran was when I ran on a team and for a team. In 1995, my good friend Joe Beussink asked me to run on his River to River Relay team in Southern Illinois. That is an 80-mile race and each team is made up of 8 runners and one backup runner. Each runner ran approximately 10 miles in three different runs.
Brethren, I never had as much fun in a race as I did in that race. WHY? Because I was not running for myself. I was running for a team! My team!
When you’re on a team, you have to be a team-player! I Cor. 12:14 "Now the body (the church) is not made up of one part but of many."
The church is referred to in Scripture as a human body and the body has many parts to it: hands, feet, legs, arms, etc.