Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Rookie

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

-- Micah 7:7

The 2002 movie The Rookie tells the story of Jim Morris--one of the oldest rookies in Major League Baseball history. Morris was a skilled pitcher in his youth, but his father disapproved of his Big League dreams and he was unable to play high school ball. Later, it looked like Morris had finally made it when he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers. But it wasn't long before his aspirations were dashed by a severe shoulder injury.

Years passed, and Morris remained Baseballin the game through his role as head coach of a high school baseball team. He was married by now with a family of three children. And he still had his impressive 98-mph fastball. Morris' high school players recognized his potential and urged him to try out for the majors. And he did--but only after they lived up to their end of the bargain and won the district title. Morris proceeded to impress the scouts, sign a minor league contract and near season's end was called up to join the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Of course, as we should expect from any good sports movie, the rookie struck out the first batter he faced in three pitches.

Jim Morris' decades-long wait paid off with huge dividends. Such patience, however, is a rare commodity in today's age of modern conveniences. We live in a 24/7 world of instant communications, Walmart Supercenters and microwave popcorn. And just about anything we want is literally available at the tap of a smartphone or the click of a mouse. Meanwhile, multitasking to make the most of our down-time has become a valued life-skill. 

But waiting isn't always a waste. It's instead an essential part of God's plan for our lives: that process that enables us to become. This concept might be hard to grasp because the human viewpoint of time differs greatly from that of our Creator. The Apostle Peter puts it into perspective with these words to ponder: 

"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends. To the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day."

As Christ-followers, we must understand that what happens while we're waiting is often more important than what we're waiting for. Ask anyone who has spent grueling hours in a hospital waiting room contemplating the health and future of a loved one. Did their soul-searching experience bring a closer dependence on God? It's when we're so humbled and powerless that we realize we can do nothing on our own.

So maybe our never-stop, 24/7 world actually revolves around waiting. Let's therefore make the most of our time when we're called to be patient by seeking opportunities to say yes to Him with a sense of expectancy and hope.

"Be still, and know that I am God," He tells us through Psalm 46:10. "I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

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