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Views From the Back Pew

Views From the Back Pew

I read somewhere that if you understand your limitations then you will be able to set realistic goals for yourself. I’m not sure that I agree with that at all. Sure, I understand that at the age of 55 it’s highly unlikely that I will get that call from any professional baseball team wanting to add me to their team. But I am only limited by myself, if I don’t do anything to reach my potential or strive for my goals then my limitations have been determined and the opportunity doors slam shut. I love to read stories about people that never quit on their dreams, they never accepted the limitations that were being forced on them. On September 18,1999 the pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Rays raised his left arm signaling to the bullpen as he made his way to the pitching mound. The pitcher that he called for had just been called up from the minors and this was his first time taking the mound in the bigs. There was nothing unusual about a team bringing up a young pitcher that has been showing some promise for some time in the majors at that time of year. The unusual thing about this pitcher was that he wasn’t young, at least not in terms of a minor league pitchers. Jim Morris was drafted by the New York Yankees but didn’t sign and the following year after playing in college Jim was drafted fourth overall by the Milwaukee Brewers. Still nothing unusual about Jim’s story, what makes his story unique is that the year that Jim was drafted by the Brewers was 1983. Jim suffered an arm injury and never made it above the single A level. Jim Morris decided that his fate was to become a high school teacher and baseball coach. But Jim’s story changed and he realized that his dream was still a possibility, his plans might have been delayed, he might have thought that by deciding to become a coach and a teacher he had reached his limitations. The thing is we always think that we see our potential and we seem to sell ourselves short too many times. God knows what our limitations are and He knows what our potential can be. We tend to limit ourselves by our circumstances or our past, perhaps by traditions. God sees through all those and knows what we can become, God sees our potential.

The apostle Paul is one that God saw great potential in. Once Paul got past his limitations he began to work diligently for the Lord spreading the gospel throughout the regions. In the past Paul had been limited by history and tradition. But once his eyes were opened, he turned his passion and commitment toward giving everything to the Lord. Even as he was headed towards imprisonment Paul remained focused and fully committed to serving the Lord. Acts 20:22-24 says; 22“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Peter is another that faced the limitations of not being an educated man, but the Lord saw the potential in him. Even after denying Christ, Peter became a leader in the early church. On the day of Pentecost it was Peter that stood up before the crowd and said in Acts 2:22-24;” “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. ” But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

At 35 years of age Jim Morris toed the rubber on a major league mound for the first time. With four pitches he struck out the batter and proved he could not be denied his dream by

limitations of any kind including age. For myself, if I bought into limitations, I might never have had the opportunity to preach the gospel. Always keep in mind that God sees your potential so don’t let any type of limitations keep you from doing the work of the Lord. You never know at what age He will call you out of the bullpen to play for Him. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Bryan Tucker, Minister

Okemah Church of Christ

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