by M. Kenneth Lyon

Defining Moments
M. Kenneth Lyon
Mark 1:9-13
January 10, 1999

Today I want to begin by sharing with you just a delightful little story that just hooks me because I've lived parts of that story. How many of you ever played baseball, growing up? Raise your hands. All right. How many of you were ever a part of coaching a Little League team or a church team or anything like that, working with folks who played softball or base ball? All right. Very good. You will resonate. If you are a parent who has ever had a child to make an attempt at this, prepare. It's by Ken Callaghan, who is one of my mentors, a systematic theologian, former professor at Emory University, International church consultant, deeply devoted follower of Christ.

It was the 9th inning. We had last bats. We were three runs behind. There were two outs. No one was on base. We were playing late that Saturday night for the citywide championship. We were sort of sitting in the dugout kicking our cleats into the dirt, waiting for the inevitable end. The championship we worked so hard for all season was slipping from our grasp. Even our people in the stands were packing up and getting ready to leave, gathering their things to beat the rush. Our next batter hit a single and made it to first. There was a little titter of excitement. Out second batter had the good sense not to swing at all. He walked. That two men on. Our 3rd batter got a hit, a blazing grounder to shortstop who bobbled the ball, and before he could make the forced play at 2nd, our man had gotten there, the bases loaded. The excitement, the cheers, the carrying on, the hugging, the backslapping were wonderful. Amidst all this hullabaloo, Bobby, the batter on deck, had gone faithfully and dutifully to the plate to do his dead-level best for the team. When my guys saw who was standing in the batter's box, with the city-wide championship now resting on the line, the words shard with their beloved coach, namely me, are words I cannot sha ...

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