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Big Time Glory!

12 Mar

Were you to have grown up in my home in the 1950s, and early 60s, sports would probably not have been a very large part of your life. Yes, the occasional World Series game may have been watched (television was nothing like today). But besides that there was little interest in professional sports.

I can still remember running home from 1st grade with the sign up paper in my hand. Can I play baseball!? Please, I really want to play! Well, my parents agreed, and that weekend we drove downtown to Dick’s Sports Shop to buy me my first ball glove. In those days they were short and fat because they had so much padding. They had not come up with the style that we have used now for years.

I was thrilled to be an official team member of the Hawthorne Hawks. We practiced and worked, day in and day out, all summer long. We began to learn how to play baseball. After my dad would come home from work he would set me up in front of the chain link fence and fire the ball towards me at full strength. He actually expected me to catch them! At first I would sheepishly back away and he would holler “if you want to play baseball put that mitt up and catch that ball!” Then there would come another blazing ball right behind it. He was not a bit gentle about it. He wasn’t raising any sissy.

It wasn’t any time and I began to stand up and catch those balls. The first year I was just a regular player. It was nothing to make you want to invite friends and relatives to come and watch you. At least my parents came to watch. In year two I became a better player. In between seasons I had a glove and ball always in my hand. I had dreams of being a great baseball player.  Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were my childhood heroes.

In the 3rd grade we moved to a different area and had to change schools. The first thing that I did was get my name on the roster of the Billy Mitchell Bombers. We had a great coach in Hal. He worked hard with the team and he took a special interest in me. The first two seasons I had no regular posistion. Now I was the official 1st baseman. My batting improved greatly. I finally had become a bigger asset to the team.

Fast forward to the 6th grade. A seasoned player was I now. The Bombers had led the league for the previous two seasons. We were red hot! At the end of each season a member of each team was named King of the team. The team also chose a Queen from our class. Well, you’ll never  guess who in a million years was chosen as King. None other than yours truly. And the Queen selected was Teresa Burton, the prettiest girl in school.

The night that we were crowned was something that a kid could only dream of. The ceremony was in a very large, lights blaring stadium. It was jam packed full of spectators. This was so different from our regular games on the diamonds behind the school. Finally, our names were called, and with sweat pouring I escorted the pretty Teresa Burton around the bases before receiving the trophy. Camera flashes seemed non stop. I had never felt so important before, or maybe sense. I had received my 10 minutes of baseball glory. It has been 50 years ago now, and it has been long forgotten by all.  I have not thought of it myself for a long time.

But any glory that I receive these days goes to Another. Paul spoke these words to the Galatians:

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal.6:14a). 

A year or so after this incident The Lord saved me by His grace. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin. I realized that was heading for hell. There was no baseball crown that was going to save me. The grand slam home run that I had hit to win the big game earned me no merit. I now realized that the only merit that I had was because of Christ, and His righteousness, which had been imparted to me as a free, unmerited gift. He even gifted me the faith to believe in Him. (Eph. 2:8).

When you compare the 2 events, only the last one has any eternal importance. My baseball glory was fun. It was a major event in my young life. But the great salvation gifted to me I have still never gotten over it. Now any glory that comes I want Him to receive it. For only Christ is worthy to receive honor and glory! Thank you Jesus for your grace!

 
22 Comments

Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Christianity, Religion

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

22 responses to “Big Time Glory!

  1. Faith Love n Desire

    March 12, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Great!
    Oh yes………it’s a big time Glory! Thank you for sharing this post with us! God bless you immensely!

    Like

     
  2. skinnyuz2b

    March 12, 2014 at 5:58 am

    Levi, what a wonderful memory. I’ve never heard of a king and queen for baseball.
    I’m glad you have found peace and contentment.

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    • Levi Thetford

      March 12, 2014 at 6:39 am

      Thank you . We had them in base back then. I haven’t heard of it for a long time now. Have a great day girl!

      Like

       
  3. theenglishrose2014

    March 12, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Special memories indeed! And the hope of Glory too! Yes, He alone is worthy! 🙂

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  4. "light and salt"

    March 12, 2014 at 11:06 am

    What a super story! I had a similar background…a little baseball and basketball mix in there, but a great memory of days gone by.

    With the salvation of the soul, as you mention, it isn’t a passing thing. The “fancy” of a moment, flashing cameras, and trophies are put aside in favor of the everlasting light of an everlasting Lord!

    I just want to “make the team!”

    Steve Pejay

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    • Levi Thetford

      March 12, 2014 at 11:18 am

      They are good memories but as you say salvation isn’t fleeting. I’ll bet you are already on “the team” Steve. Lord bless!

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      • "light and salt"

        March 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm

        Thank you for your inviting and Godly way, Levi! Heaven is the “goal” in this game of life!

        God love you,
        Steve

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        • Levi Thetford

          March 12, 2014 at 3:32 pm

          Indeed it is Steve!

          Like

           
          • "light and salt"

            March 13, 2014 at 11:39 am

            Have a super day, Levi! May God keep you…

            Steve

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            • Levi Thetford

              March 13, 2014 at 11:41 am

              Thank you Steve. God’s best to you too!

              Like

               
              • "light and salt"

                March 13, 2014 at 5:49 pm

                I’ll be visiting your site again soon! Keep posting those good stories and insights!

                Steve

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                • Levi Thetford

                  March 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

                  Thanks Steve. I’ll try

                  Like

                   
                • "light and salt"

                  March 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm

                  You’ll do very well, Levi!

                  Steve

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  5. insideheathershead

    March 12, 2014 at 11:52 am

    You are so right, Levi. We cling to the crowns from our past, striving for the five minutes of stardom they offered. But the only crown that matters is the crown of life. “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12). Whether enduring the temptation of a baseball crown or the pain of a dental one (heh), we have the promise of an eternal crown. I’m glad you’re an overcomer and able to share your story with us.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      March 12, 2014 at 11:57 am

      You are most welcome and thank you for the verse. We are overcomers because of His amazing grace. Thank you!

      Like

       
  6. A Servant

    March 12, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Great post Levi. There is a noticeable theme on the blog lately about the power of Jesus to save and what is and is not important. May the work of the Holy Spirit work on the inside as we try to proclaim to the outside.

    Like

     
  7. vwoods1212

    March 12, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    To God be the glory in everything. Thanks for sharing.VW

    Like

     

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