When We Are At The Bat!


Most of us have, at one time or the other, read or heard a rendition of the tragic baseball poem, “Casey At The Bat.” It was written by Ernest Thayer and was published in the San Francisco Examiner in the year 1888. It tells the tale of a team from Mudville who is losing going into the last inning. If only their star hitter, Casey, could get to bat, he would hit a home run and they would win. Much to their disappointment when Casey finally comes to bat, he lets them down by striking out to end the game.

Whenever I hear or read this poem, I am reminded that seldom does the anointed “Casey” become the star of the game.  Instead it is often an unknown player that seems to become the hero. It is a fascinating thing to see a man rise to a once in a lifetime opportunity. But sports is not the only place we see such. History is littered with the names of the “once” unknown who, when called upon, rise to the occasion.

Religious history is also replete with such tales. One such is Joseph Smith. He described his insignificance in his own words by writing that he was “an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor…”. (JS History 1:23). Yet less than two hundred years from the “First Vision” and his name is known around the world. There have been many other insignificant, yet great,  men and women of religion who have hit a home run when they were called upon by the Lord to ‘take their turn at bat.’ It is a testimony to me of the statement attributed to Harold B. Lee, “He who the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”

Over the years I have seen many men and women not known to be “Caseys,” take their turn at the bat and hit a home run. It is remarkable what you can accomplish when you have the Lord on your side.

There might not have been joy in Mudville the day Casey struck out,  but rest assured that there will be joy and happiness for those who are playing for the Lord’s team. All of those who chose to be on the Lord’s team get their turn at bat. If we lean on the Lord, our turn at bat will be successful and the glory gained will not be of the moment, but will last an eternity.

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