By Ken Sils
Not long ago, our great summer national pastime, baseball, began for 1993. President Clinton threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the game in Baltimore. Former president George Bush was watching a ball-game in Houston. However, the story which captured the hearts of most people on opening day happened in Cleveland. You see, just a few weeks before, two very promising pitchers of the Cleveland Indians were killed in a boating accident in Florida during spring training. On opening day at Cleveland stadium, there was a moment of silence in memory of these two men and honors were given their grieving widows and families. It was a very touching scene transcending baseball from a game to real life.
The national media spent a lot of time talking about this incident which killed these two strong, young men. Many have mentioned their good character and showered accolades on the strength of their wives and the ball team they were a part of. Many reporters and ballplayers have publicly grieved from the sudden shock of losing someone they cared for.
But, friends, one very important thing is mysteriously missing from the discussion of almost everyone involved; from the family, ball team and the media. That is a reasonable discussion about the probable cause of the accident. At the scene, the boat had a cooler filled with beer and a bottle of liquor. One of the ballplayers had a blood-alcohol level of .14 which is above the legal limit. This boat was traveling at a high rate of speed at night and ran into an elongated boat dock. No doubt, this tragedy could have been prevented. These men could have been pitching today if they would have heeded the wisdom of God. Proverbs 20:1 says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived by it is not wise.” This wisdom from God cannot be disputed, intoxicants have been mocking, deceiving and killing for many centuries.
Our country has seen so many innocent people killed from drunk drivers that organizations like M.A.D.D. and S.A.D.D. have been formed, attempting to force our government to crack down on drunken drivers. In most areas of the country, the legal age to buy intoxicants is 21. However, teenagers can purchase or obtain alcohol with surprising ease. It has gotten so bad that courageous senior high teenagers from their school districts have been on T.V. encouraging other seniors not to drink and drive on prom night! Yet, America continues to glamorize this sinister demon: alcohol.
Did you know that almost every refrigerator or home in America has some type of intoxicant in it? What about yours? Children really do learn from their parents. Parents, are you teaching your children that getting drunk is sinful and God will exact a high price for tasting its sinful pleasure? Paul said in I Corinthians 6:10, “. . . nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God!” Not only can alcohol take your life on this earth, it will take it away from all eternity. Drinking is not a sickness, it is a sin, an additive sin which will affect every facet of your life over time. It’s time for parents to rise up and conquer this lust for the bottle, starting with their own lives and the lives of their children.
Another picture I remember seeing while watching the Chicago sports segment on opening day was their report of over 400 kegs of beef being sold at Wrigley Field. I wonder how many kegs of beer were sold at Cleveland stadium while the people there were grieving the loss of these two pitchers? Probably just as many. People never seem to learn from the penalties of sin around them. I hope that you are willing to learn from God and find life through study and application of his divine message. Baseball is fun, but, our enjoyment of it and every other pleasure in life can be stripped from us in a moment. Then, we must give account for the things done in the body to the Almighty God of your Bible (2 Cor. 5:10). Now is the time to hear the warnings of God about alcohol, for if you wait until tomorrow, tomorrow may never come. Then, what will be of your friends, family and most importantly, your eternal destiny?
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 11, p. 15
June 3, 1993