Control

Jeff Munroe

READ : Proverbs 3:9-20

Do not despise the Lord’s discipline. (v. 11)

No one in baseball history threw harder than Steve Dalkowski. Although radar guns weren’t yet invented when he played, it’s thought that he threw somewhere between 105 and 110 mph. He could throw so hard that one day he won five dollars by throwing a baseball through the outfield wall. Once he threw an inside pitch that took off a piece of the batter’s ear. Ted Williams faced him and said, “I hope I never have to do that again.”

So why have you never heard of Steve Dalkowski? He lacked one quality for success both on and off the field: control. As a pitcher, he didn’t know where the ball was going. As a person, he couldn’t stop drinking. As a result, he never made it out of the minor leagues. His battle with the bottle continued long after baseball gave up on the promise of his golden arm. He eventually quit drinking, but sadly lives now in the fog of an alcohol-induced dementia.

It’s a risk to ignore discipline. Steve Dalkowski didn’t intend to go down in baseball history as a curious footnote, but that’s what happened. “Discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant . . . but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11). Are we bold enough to want the old-fashioned virtue of discipline? Bold enough to teach it to young people?

PRAYER

Lord, we want to be disciplined people.