Thursday, June 9, 2016

Devotion 6.9.16

Shiner.  I'm not talking about that special little town in Central Texas.  I'm talking about a real black eye.  I'm talking about the kind you find a steak to put on to heal.  A friend of mine has been posting pictures on Facebook of one he received the other night while playing softball.  Last night, my wife and I went out to grab a bite, and he was there wearing his sunglasses.  He came to our table, and when he took them off, there were audible gasps.  It is a real doozy, as they used to say.

Such are the scars of men who participate in sport.  His was softball with his team (the church's men's team in fact - the Hope Warriors) who have returned to the field of battle.  We cannot be critical of the team, who has yet to find victory, because we are not the men in the arena (well, some of you readers may be).  Yet the credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood (and shiners); who errs, and comes up short again (actually, it was an error, the glove did not meet the bounce from the throw from the outfield and bounced off his left eye) because there is no error without effort and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

Theodore Roosevelt eloquently articulated that in the early 1900s about life in a republic, but today we honor the Hope Warriors, who have yet to taste victory, but they are out there, late at night.  Their only trophy may be the sweat (and apparently blood, dust, and shiners) received by playing in the field late at night, swatting the skeeters, and right now, not the softball.  So a reminder for our team and for us all, "Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to receive a perishable, but we an imperishable." (1 Corinthians 9)

Hope Men's Ministry

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