As a true fan of baseball’s Cincinnati Reds, I appreciate the many firsts associated with ‘the first professional baseball’ team.  One key first would have to be the first night game in Major League Baseball history, occurring on May 24, 1935 at Crosley Field.  Now, I would be remiss in failing to acknowledge that night events occur on a daily basis in the sporting world with very few exceptions. 

So, what does it take to pull off such a feat?  If you are driving at night, it is nearly impossible to miss a sporting event underway because of the huge banks of lights needed to illuminate the playing field.  These light banks are necessary for the efficient and safe play for the athletes.  There is also the need for officials to be able to see clearly enough to be able to ensure the rules of the game are being adhered to by the participants. 

This morning, a ridiculous thought occurred to me.  What would happen if a baseball team attempted a night game, with the limited illumination they could provide for themselves (i.e. flashlights, lighters, cell phones, what have you).  How silly would it be for a batter to attempt to hit an 80+ mph pitch with a miner’s light on his batting helmet… or an outfielder trying to track down a fly ball from the crack of the bat with only a flashlight?  Imagine similar efforts during the snap of a football in the shotgun formation or a receiver trying to track down that downfield pass after shaking a defensive back.  We haven’t even spoken of the missed calls by officials simply because they could not see what was happening on the field!! 

Sadly, today, many try that same approach in their spiritual walk through life.  King David wrote in Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”  The word of God is the illumination that opens our eyes to every aspect of life and yet there are those today trying to get by with as little of it as they can.  A few passages here and there committed to memory, are a noble beginning of knowing God and His way, yet this practice is equivalent to walking in a world with a candle, lamp or flashlight, when the overwhelming bank of lights that can light every aspect of our lives is waiting to be accessed!!  Of all listed in the cloud of witnesses found in Hebrews chapter eleven, a cursory mention is made of David (v. 32) and should not be overlooked.  Here is a man known by God to be ‘after His own heart’ and it is this man who understood the value of God’s word in lighting his path.  In the life of David, we are made aware that he clearly pondered, meditated and reflected on God to a large extent.  Would it not benefit us today, following his example as we ‘fix our eyes on Jesus’, the Word made flesh?

Copyright © 2013, Nolan P. Rutter

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