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And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

If you were to ask who the best baseball player of all time is, most persons would reply that it was Babe Ruth. George Herman Ruth Jr. acquired the nickname ‘Babe’ while playing for the Baltimore Orioles minor league team when he was referred to by a team scout as one of manager Jack Dunn’s babes. Not only did Ruth become the premier slugger of his era, he did what no one had done before. Many of his records took years to be broken, and some of them still stand today. When he joined the majors in 1914, the all-time record for home runs in a season was 27. Within seven years he had more than doubled it with 59, and he eventually produced a personal-high of 60. Playing for the Yankees in 1929 – he hit his 500th career home run, while the player with the next most homers had only 237. On May 25, 1935, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – he hit number 714 out of the park over the right field upper deck. It was the first time anyone had hit a fair ball completely out of Forbes Field.  It was one of Ruth’s last games, going four for four on the day, hitting three home runs and driving in six runs. His record of 714 for career home runs would stand for another 39 years until Hank Aaron broke it. Ruth retired only a few days later with his worst full-time yearly average fulfilling the old adage – “all good things must come to an end.”

Ruth’s legendary power and charismatic personality made him a larger-than-life figure. During his career, he was the target of intense press and public attention for his baseball exploits and off-field proclivities for drinking and womanizing. His often-irresponsible lifestyle was tempered by his willingness to do good by visiting children at hospitals and orphanages, no doubt recalling his own reckless youth listing him as “an incorrigible.” He said he had no faith in God before he was sent to the Catholic school and that the biggest lesson he got from the experience there was learning that “God was Boss.” With the help of some friends, these final documented words were published in 1948 by Guidepost Magazine: “I doubt if any appeal could have straightened me out except a Power over and above man – the appeal of God. Iron-rod discipline couldn’t have done it. Nor all the punishment and reward systems that could have been devised. God had an eye out for me, just as He has for you, and He was pulling for me to make the grade.” It sounds like in the end, the Babe recognized what was truly important in the journey of life.

Recently I overheard a group of retirees talking about the years they had worked together. One of them said, “Those were good times, weren’t they?” The others nodded in agreement, uttering “But nothing lasts forever.” The Apostle Paul would dare to argue with that statement, for he wrote: “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Our time on earth is very short, but what we do here will have a lasting effect on those with we whom share our lives. The things of this world will pass away (1 John 2:17), and the only effects we will be able to take to eternity are our relationships with God and the people we reached. As we affirm God’s Word in our own lives, we can’t help but witness to those around us. In 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, it is written: “You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

We spend many hours every day trying to improve systems, knowledge, relationships, and situations.  In our preoccupation, we often become consumed with our efforts toward wealth, fame and accomplishment failing to realize that in the end it will simply fade away. In the process of doing so – we may lose touch with God, the one true constant in our life.  If your relationship with Him has changed or your faith seems more distant than it once was, dare to ask the question – “Who moved?”  The King of Eternity always has His hand extended to be your soul mate.  For when all else passes, He will be our shepherd to a world without end.  What a peaceful reassurance it is to know that He alone is the essence of all good things.

REFLECTION: What parts of your life contain heavenly value for you and others? Consider ways to apply these words of Paul in your own life: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).


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