I’m not a huge Yankees fan, but I have enjoyed watching Derek Jeter play during his final year as a major league professional. On the field, Jeter has done things the right way. Five World Series Championships. 20 seasons in the majors and 3,463 hits (and counting)…sixth all time. But it’s how Jeter finished in his final home game in Yankee Stadium that caught the eye of America last week.
In the 9th inning of a tie game, Jeter- in what would be his last at bat of his home career- slapped a single into right field for the game-winning run. On baseball’s biggest stage- with millions of viewers across the world watching- Jeter delivered a dramatic walk-off hit. What a way to exit your professional career.
Don’t we all dream of such moments? Finishing strong and going out a winner. Wouldn’t we love to finish our earthly life in such a dramatic way?
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Luke 14:28-30
Jeter worked hard daily in his quest to become the ultimate shortstop. Our goal should be to live a life that reflects Christ. It’s a task that deserves daily preparation, work and refinement.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phillipians 1:6
This isn’t easy. The world wants us to fail. We are filled with self-doubt, but we can be confident that God has supplied us with everything we need to finish strong.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
We can never be too spiritually mature. Nor should we ever seek to be finished in our effort to spread God’s word.
Jeter retired from baseball on a glorious note. While we should never retire from doing the Lord’s work, we know that we will have the same opportunity to walk off the field to glory.