Three Strikes, Your Out
by PamFord Davis

Any player up at bat, during a close baseball game, cringes at the call of "Three strikes, and you're out!" He is sent to the dug out defeated, and swallows his pride. That last swing was just so close...

One of the greatest players of all time was Babe Ruth, who also has the distinction of a candy bar, named in his honor. His record number of home runs gave him a place in the Baseball Hall Of Fame, at Coopers town, New York. I went to the museum in the eighth grade, on a class field trip. I am not a sports fan; so my biggest memory from that day is a small small country store, where I bought a bar of lemon soap. We remember Babe's achievements, the home runs and the notoriety. I have heard that he also was a leader of times struck out at bat!

Our third Grandson, Ashley, "Granny's little buddy," is a boy with baseball in his heart. Now, at age fourteen, he already has quite a bit of experience. He has played on Little League and school teams for the past few years. When younger he traveled one summer with my husband and I. During rest breaks he would play catch, every chance he got. It was not a passing fancy; and his practice continues to pay off. Maybe he won't be sent to the dugout too often. With his exceptional grade average, and advancement in baseball, we hope one day he will receive a scholarship to college.

When others offend us, we are not to keep score, no calls of once, twice, three times, OK, you're out of my life. We want people to be forgiving and understanding with us. We just are not that patient with them. What if God was that hard on us?

The Apostle Peter questioned Jesus about how many times he should forgive.
( Matthew 18:21) He thought his own idea of seven times was a very generous figure. The Jewish traditions were to forgive a few times; so he had extended that. Jesus reply of seventy times seven was to imply a number beyond keeping track. As often as we are faced with a decision to forgive, we should do just that.

Imagine the amazement of a ball player after he strikes out, approached tenderly by the umpire. The man who just called him out, meets him face to face at home base, pats him on the back and says : "That's alright. We all make mistakes. Try again!"

Well, we may never see that in a World Series; but we can score a home run every time we forgive.

Devotionals are her first love in writing. Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Devotions for the Deaf, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Coosa Journal, With God Daily, Mary Hollingsworth's The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter.

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