The Word: You’re still in your prime
Published 1:47 pm Friday, March 17, 2023
We are just two weeks away from Major League Baseball’s regular season starting.
Numerous college, middle and high school, even little leagues have begun practices, scrimmages and games. Baseball/softball is a beautiful thing. One of the greatest… wait…no…not one of the greatest…the greatest pitcher of all time (in my humble opinion) was Nolan Ryan.
For 27 years, Nolan Ryan was feared while on the mound. Even though he retired at the age of 46, he was still throwing heat. Did you know that before he was 40 years old he averaged 9.4 strikeouts per 9 innings of play? Did you know that after he turned 40, he averaged 10.2 strikeouts per 9 innings? The man’s 27 years brought him the record of most strikeouts (5,714) and no-hitters (7). On July 14, 1973, Tigers first baseman, Norm Cash, walked up to the plate with a table leg instead of a bat saying, “Why not, I won’t hit him anyway”. Ryan already had 17 strikeouts for the day before Cash popped up for the final out. You can google and watch this video of Cash waking up with the table leg, making the umpire step away laughing before tossing the leg aside. Great times with a great pitcher.
In 1974, a laser clocked Nolan Ryan’s fastball at 108.1 mph. The man averaged over 100mph on the constant. On September 17th, 1993, Nolan Ryan pitched his final professional game and was still throwing 98 mph for his fastball. The average pitcher lasts just under 11 years (10.97). Nolan Ryan successfully pitched for 27.
What does that mean for you who’s not, nor will you ever be, a MLB pitcher? You can last longer. Don’t allow the years to get the best of you.
Don’t think about retiring when it comes to service for our King. Don’t get the mentality that you’ve “done your job” or that you’ve “gone there long enough” or even as if “you’ve earned a break”. You’re not that old no matter what number you are currently. So, rest. Take a 7th inning stretch. Soak down and ice up… because there’s plenty more game to be played.
I love how Philippians 3:14 tells us to “press on”, “keep pursuing”, “eye on the goal”, “move forward” to the prize that God has in store for you. The prize? Eternal Worship before The King of kings and Lord of lords, bowing before Him forever and always in adoration and humble gratitude. Feeling old? Are you tired? Ready to retire? Sit. Rest. Drink some water. Get back in the game. You’re still in your prime!
Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.