As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
The 1965 World Series was memorable for a number of reasons. Especially for believers, Jewish believers. Sandy Koufax, the star pitcher of the Dodgers refused to pitch in Game One since it was Yom Kippur, a Jewish high holy day. So, the Dodgers turned to Don Drysdale, who started the game and gave up seven runs in less than three innings. When his manager came to relieve him on the mound, Drysdale said, "I bet right now you wish I was Jewish too." They lost that game to the Twins 8-2.
Koufax wasn't even at the ballpark. He was at the synagogue in Minneapolis. Koufax came back and pitched games two, five, and seven. He threw complete-game shutouts in games five and seven, and the Dodgers won the series. His firm decision not to play in game one, but to play his best when he returned, showed everyone his highest priority was his faith and his God. Koufax is an inspiration to the Jewish people and to people of faith in all places to this day.
A similar true and inspiring story was captured in the film, Chariots of Fire. In it, the story of Scottish athlete on the British Olympic team, Eric Liddell, refuses to run his event, the 100-meter dash because it's scheduled on Sunday. Son of missionaries, his convictions are deep, despite national and international pressures. Many of the other athletes, including one American, who slips him a note, supporting his strong commitment to God. His teammate even switches places with him to run the 400-meter... which he wins. The film remains one of the most highly praised of all time. I think it has less to do with the musical score than a powerful tale of glorifying God with our decisions and our sacrifice.
This weekend begins spring break for those of you attached in any way to the Georgia school calendar. Many of you will travel and be away from Johns Creek and your family of faith. Like these inspiring athletes, I hope you and your household will serve the Lord. Wherever you wander, I hope you'll attend and worship in that place on the Sundays you are away. If you cannot find or miss the services there (plan ahead), take your Bible (or pull it up on your phone), read a text, pray together, sing or hum or listen to a few worship songs, and send me a selfie. I'll be looking forward to seeing you and your household serving the Lord, wherever you roam.
Prayer for Today
Lord, this day, help me to remember and live so that the way my family and I prioritize you and the Sabbath is powerful witness to the love you have for all of us. Amen.