by Ed Rowell

This content is part of a series.

From Selfishness to Goodness (6 of 9)
Extreme Makeover
Ed Rowell
Galatians 5:22

Let’s set up the contrast in this morning’s message with two stories from the world of sports.

This past summer (6/13/04) Matt Starr was at Ameriquest Field in Arlington, Texas, watching the home team Rangers take on the St. Louis Cardinals. When a foul ball was hit toward where he was sitting, the 28-year-old landscaper leapt over the seat in front of him. Even though the ball had landed at the feet of 4-year-old Nicholas O'Brien, Starr knocked the boy against the seats and pounced on the ball. The boy's mother, insulted by the aggressive behavior, swatted him with her program, while fans chanted, "Give the boy the ball." But, clutching the ball to himself, Starr returned to his seat unwilling to part with his new souvenir.
Even the ballplayers witnessed Starr's actions. Between innings, Cardinals' outfielder, Reggie Sanders, went into the stands to give the boy a bat. Nicholas also received souvenirs from the Texas Rangers, including one signed by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. Video of Starr's self-serving behavior was shown on television stations across the country. The mother was even interviewed on Good Morning America.
After all the publicity, Starr, a former youth minister at a nearby church, expressed later expressed regret for his behavior. He agreed to send a letter of apology to the O'Brien family. Starr also indicated he would give the boy the ball and buy tickets for the entire family to a future Rangers' game. But still, can you believe what a guy would do for a $5 baseball?

Story 2
Michael Phelps had already won five gold medals in the 2004 Athens Olympics. He seemed certain to secure one more in the 4 x 400 medley relay. Phelp's teammate, Ian Crocker, had not been so fortunate. Fighting flu symptoms all week, Crocker's performance had been sub-par. Just as it appeared that Crocker would go home without a medal, Phelps ceded his position in the 4 x 400 ...

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