New Beginnings

Ah, the crack of the bat … swift feet chugging down to first … the pop of a 98 mph fastball in the catcher’s mitt … the dive for a fading line drive … the roar of the crowd when a slugger sends one over the wall … take me out to the ballgame. 162 of them. 3 plus hours in the stands watching pitchers shake off signs, hitters pulling on their batting gloves, 10 pitch at-bats, players digging and scratching, beer-soaked idiots right behind you willing to share their profanity and their spills, concession stand food that not only tastes great but costs as much as your first car, enjoying the traffic jams before and after the game … oh, yes, there is nothing like watching baseball at the stadium. At this time of year, every team has a chance … except the ones the experts have already determined have no chance at all.

Is that the way life is? Are there people who have no chance at all? To listen to voices:

  • “You’re no good.”
  • “You’ll never amount to anything.”
  • “Can’t you do anything right?”
  • “You’re a bum.”

You might hear that at a ball park from some of the bleacher bozos, the ones who could only catch a fly ball if it lands in their beer cup. But you should never hear that at home or school or church. Life is tough enough without the people who drag you down or crush your dreams.

I think these words would be more helpful.

  • “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.”
  • “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He has planned for us long ago.”
  • “Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
  • “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Here’s the pitch. When you get the chance today, choose from the latter group of words, not the former. You might just keep a dream alive.

This entry was posted in Commentary and tagged , , on by .

About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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