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A decision to make

April 2, 1931 — Jackie Mitchell, a 17-year-old girl from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was brought in as relief to face the heart of the fearsome lineup of the New York Yankees. The first batter she faced was Babe Ruth. The Sultan of Swat. The Great Bambino. As the Babe stepped up to the plate, he showed curtesy to this young lady by tipping his cap. The tall, thin, left handed side arm slinger started at bat with a sinker. The Babe didn’t fall for it, watching it go on by for ball one. The next pitch, Ruth swung and missed by a foot. He missed the next one as well. With a 1-2 count, Ruth watched the next pitch catch the corner for a called third strike. This 17-year-old young lady did the unthinkable — she earned a backwards K against Babe Ruth and she wasn’t done. Lou Gehrig was next. Gehrig’s batting average was .341in 1931. He and Ruth were tied as the home run leaders. Lou Gehrig swung at and missed three straight pitches. On April 2, 1931, the greatest two batters of that day were struck out — by a girl! This was unheard of. Now, the Yankees went on to win this game 14-4, but an untold history was sketched in stone. What if Jackie Mitchell had listened to hecklers. What if she had followed the status quo. What if she allowed the nerves and fears to get the best of her. What if? You know, we allow the “what if’s” of life to get the best of us at times, don’t we? In Matthew 14:22-33 we read where Jesus walks to his disciples on the water and scares the mess out of them. When Peter sees him he asks, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus says, “Come”. Ha! I love it. Peter has a decision to make. He can stay safe in his comfort zone of the boat — or he can obey and get out the boat. We like our comfort zones. We don’t typically like taking chances. Get out of the boat. Who cares what the media says. Don’t worry about what those folks think or gossip about. Get out your boat and follow Christ. If Peter hadn’t gotten out we probably wouldn’t know this story. What happens to Peter? He takes his eyes off Jesus and starts to sink. What happened to the next batter Jackie Mitchell faced? She walked them. You see, you may fail. But, if we never get out the boat, we won’t know. Put your faith to action. Set the example and be the good needed.

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor at Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at www.kenbridgechristian. com.