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  • Mark A. Howell

Don’t just stand there, do something!

If you are a baseball fan you might be familiar with the name Tony Gwynn. He is widely recognized as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Many years ago, Gwynn stepped up to the plate and failed to get on base for the 5113th time in his baseball career. For someone who’s paycheck was dependent upon making hits, that was no way to ensure a successful career. More than 5000 of Gwynn’s trips to the plate resulted in failure. Yet, before we write him off too quickly, we would do well to recall that Tony Gwynn was one of only a handful of big-league players who ever achieved the milestone of 3000 hits. On the night that he made his 5113th out he also got his 3000th hit.

Let this sink in…only one in every three times at bat during his storied career was Gwynn successful at what he did. And yet he is still considered one of the greatest baseball players of his generation. To get so many hits, he had to be willing to make some outs.

Here’s the point. Spiritual success is more about courage than it is about calculators. It’s not about how many times you fail, but rather how bold you are to attempt something great for God. Many Christians are content to play it safe. They are held hostage by their fear of failure. To be sure, you may swing and miss a few times along the way, but you’ll never get a hit if you don’t swing the bat. Life is too short to play it safe. Step up to the plate and start swinging. Start that Bible study. Take that mission trip. Give to someone in need. Meet your neighbors. Share Christ with your friend. Pick up your Bible and read it. In other words, don’t just stand there…do something! The apostle Paul said it best, “Therefore my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that you labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor 15:58).


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