Peace family, in honor of the Astros and Rangers reporting for spring training today, I want to tell you one of my favorite baseball stories, one that encourages me to have faith and strive for excellence regardless of stress, onlookers’ attitudes, or outcome.
Roger Maris was a baseball player in the sixties who worked through adversity. He was a Catholic, kind to others and faithful to his family, while his teammate Mickey Mantle, also very famous, was a crowd favorite, enjoying many of the pleasures of worldly living.
Although they did not have any personal problems with each other, as they both tried to do the best they could during the 1961 baseball season, the world noticed that their home run records were coming up against the record of baseball legend Babe Ruth. The media hyped up a rivalry between Maris and Mantle where none existed, and caused a great amount of unrelenting stress.
Because of the way Roger Maris was portrayed, people thought he was stuck up or a goody-two-shoes, and he got hate letters, threats for his family’s lives, and was put under so much stress that his hair fell out in chunks. He was a talented and righteous man being aggressively pursued by threats of destruction as he merely did what God had designed him to do. In the end, Maris broke the record with 61 home runs after Mantle developed an infection in his hip.
Peace family, no matter how much you feel like people or circumstances turn against you, you are loved and favored by God! Have faith and do not give up. Keep doing whatever God designed you for. If you are still searching those things out, don’t give up! God will not abandon you. Honor him and trust that his plan for you is good. Trust him in adversity, because you never know, something great might be on its way! We can place our faith in God’s character and what he says, instead of our circumstances.
(And some other good news; just in case you were curious, Mickey Mantle ended up giving his life to Christ near the end of his life.)