By Joy Powers
In the midst of turmoil, there is a silver lining. The story goes like this . . .
The weather is beautiful; a perfect day for baseball. Players are dressed in their uniforms. Hot dogs are cooking. The popcorn has been popped. Fans have arrived. “Play ball,” cries the umpire. Players run on to the field. The first pitch is thrown. The Wednesday night game has begun.
The game progresses as usual. All is well at the Pony League ball park in Baytown. Suddenly, at 7:10 P.M., the right fielder has to leave the game — not for an injury, or for being disrespectful to the officials, but for another appointment. His brethren are meeting at Pruett & Lobit on this night, just as they always do.
Everyone asks, “Hey, where are you going?” The player simply answers, “church.” It is a simple, direct answer. It is given without a hint of embarrassment or resentment in his voice. It was a natural thing for this 14-year old to do. Playing baseball during church services was not an option to him.
At practice the next day, the manager, who himself had missed the previous nights’ game to attend a con- cert, pulled the 14-year old boy aside and questioned him about his early departure from the game. “What if the game is tied and there are no reserves left and your mother pulls you out for church? What are you going to do?” “Go to church,” the young man replied. “Even if we have to forfeit a game, you would let everyone down to go to church,” the manager asked. “Yes, sir,” was the young man’s respectful reply.
Obviously, the manager was not getting across to the player the importance of playing baseball, so he called for an appointment with the boy’s mother.
She met with the manager to discuss the situation. “He’s right,” the boy’s mother explained, “church comes first.”
“But if we have to forfeit a game, his teammates are not going to be happy,” said the manager. “He’ll get over it,” mom replied. “But he’ll let his team down if that happens,” the manager exclaimed. “But if he misses church for a ball game, he’ll also be letting down God,” mom said.
As the conversation continued, the manager saw he was not going to change the boy or his mother’s mind. Finally, he said, “We’ll try to work out a time for the next Wednesday game that will allow your son to be there, but I can’t make any promises.” “I understand and appreciate you for trying,” the mother said kindly.
Afterward, she walked away with a little more pride in her son. But where did a 14-year old get this inner, spiritual strength to stand up to those in authority and do what is right?
He got this strength from you, from all the brethren at Pruett & Lobit. Taylor, the right fielder, has grown up here and has been very involved in learning the truth at a young age. He could easily have said, “I have to be at the game, mom, or we’ll have to forfeit.” He could have pressured Sam and I, but he didn’t. Taylor knew what was right, even without his parents being there! Now you see why this is “a silver lining in the cloud of turbulence.”
(Elders’ Note: We are proud of young men like Taylor Powers who are letting their light shine [Matt. 5:16]. We are blessed here at Pruett & Lobit in Baytown, Texas to have many outstanding young boys and girls who are putting Christ first in their lives.)