I will confess that I am not a Baseball fan in the truest sense! While I do pay attention to scores of games – I rarely watch a baseball game. But something happened last night in Baseball that caught my attention along with millions of other fans – Derek Jeter played his final home game as a Yankee.
It’s possible you’re not a Baseball fan either and you might be saying “Big deal – Derek who?” Derek Jeter is finishing a 20 year professional baseball career. He has played all 20 seasons with the same team. His career stats are impressive enough to believe he will be elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. But more impressive than his stats is something that may be overlooked – He finished well!
Derek has played most of his career during a time of incredible cheating. Derek began his career in 1994. In July of 1995, Tony Gwynn estimated 30% of players were already using steroids. Players took performance enhancing drugs in order to advance their careers. Many of Derek’s teammates were discovered cheating. Derek has played his entire career during what has become known as the “Steroid Era” of baseball.
Despite the spotlight shining brightly on the players of this “era” – Derek’s name was never associated with nor was he ever accused of cheating. Derek chose to do it the right way. Day after day he played the game to the best of his ability. Finally after 20 years of making the choice to not cheat he is finishing well!
That’s exactly how we’re called to live our lives. No we’re not professional athletes. But the truth is people are cheating in every area of life in order to “get ahead.” They’ve lost sight of ethics and morals and have given in to the “means justifies the end” philosophy in life. However, the Bible teaches us that temporary gain in this life is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal of everyone’s life is to finish well.
We may never hear our name proclaimed in a stadium of thousands of cheering fans. But if we live our lives the way God asks us to – there’s something even better in store for us. There is coming a day when we can hear God proclaim, “Well Done!” The challenge for each of us is to not be distracted by what others are doing around us. Let’s go out and live our lives, day by day, in such as way that it can be said of us – They finished well!