“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold (Proverbs 22:1).”
Everyone has a story. But Tripp Spence didn’t like where his was heading, so he changed the main characters and the plot.
In the baseball movie, “Mickey”, Tripp is being investigated by the IRS. Therefore, he visits a con artist who gives him and his son Derek new identities. They leave Virginia for Nevada as Glen Spence and Mickey Spence, respectively.
Derek is a blue chip baseball prospect at the age of 13. He can throw a fastball 70 mph and hits in the 400s. As Mickey, he is 12 and eligible to play Little League baseball in Las Vegas when normally his eligibility would have ended in his old life
(NOTE: SPOILER ALERT)
Mickey is such a star that he leads his team to the Little League World Series. where he pitches his team to a title. Unfortunately for Mickey and for his father, the IRS has caught up with them due to all the publicity.
Tripp comes clean in front of a press conference and Mickey confesses to his teammates. Tripp goes to jail for a year, his reputation ruined.
However, when he comes out, he is ready to do things the right way. Mickey and some of his old teammates are waiting outside the prison for him, ready for the next phase of their baseball careers with a reformed Tripp as their mentor.
Sin leaves a deep stain that is hard to remove. Yesterday I dropped some jelly and my nice shirt was stained. But I quickly removed it with water. Later I dropped some ice cream on a white T-shirt. This stain won’t come out until the next wash. Some stains are more difficult than others. Sin is more like peanut butter than jelly. It’s sticky and ugly.
However, as the old hymn says, Jesus Christ took care of the laundry for us:
“Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb”.
Crucifixion, the type of execution Jesus underwent, is a slow death. We Christians have been crucified with Christ, but it is a slow and painful process to live it out (Galatians 5:24).
When we go through the process of separating from the world and living for Christ, we may not like it too much,so we attempt to change the storyline. For example, we sometimes use sin to douse the pain.
Jesus didn’t do that, however. The apostle Peter said his life of suffering and eventual glory was true. He didn’t live a masquerade (II Peter 1:16).
In my own life, God seems to use my work a lot to move me closer to where He wants me to be spiritually. I learned yesterday that I will be working tons of overtime the next couple of months out of necessity. The pressure and fatigue will be great.
Hard work is not new to me, but what I would like to accomplish this time around is to live out the next two months as a godly person. I know I will be tired and stressed and therefore be tempted to be constantly cranky and miserable both at home and at work.
I think God would rather me be pleasant and cheerful. Instead of changing God’s plot for me in this developing story, and living contrary to His wishes, I would like to be a testimony to His grace with my family and with my colleagues. The refrain of another old hymn communicates how I would like to live during this time.:
“This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.”