October 16

Perhaps you saw part of it. Or maybe I should say “parts” of it. It was a very long baseball playoff game between the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers to see who goes to the World Series. There were 51,227 in attendance, and the game lasted almost four-and-a-half hours. The Rangers won in very exciting fashion with a walk off, grand slam home run, the first ever in Major League postseason history.

As excited as all of that was, to me one of the most moving parts of the game happened at the start of the broadcast. It was the singing of the National Anthem. This part always gives me goose bumps, and is a wonderful and very appropriate tradition. The singer on this night was country music legend Charley Pride. He also sang the National Anthem before a World Series game last year. You might remember some of his hit songs such as “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'” and “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone.” Joyce and I actually saw him in concert at the Rodeo in San Antonio years ago.

And that’s where I’m going with this. It was probably 25 or so years ago. In fact, Charley Pride is 73 years old. And yet, there he was, singing his heart out, singing quite well—though not perfectly—the very difficult “Star Spangled Banner,” in front of over 50,000 people live, and millions more on television and the Internet.

Just a summary reading of his life story gives you an idea that it hasn’t been an easy road. And there have been disappointments and struggles. But he refused to quit. And he obviously, though in his seventies, refuses to quit today.

How about you and me? So what excuse do we give to not be involved, to not put out the effort, to not take a risk? Too young? Too old? Too scared? Too tired? Too rich? Too poor? Too mad? Too happy? Are you okay giving that excuse to your Lord Jesus when He asks why you didn’t come through for Him when He gave you the opportunities and gifts to actively serve Him?

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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