Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional: August 20th

Fire God?

Many of Major League Baseball's teams have moved a time or two. The Los Angeles Dodgers started out in Brooklyn. The San Francisco Giants began in New York. The Minnesota Twins started out in our nation's Capitol as the Washington Senators. The Oakland Athletics began in Philadelphia. Then there are the twice removed. The teams that just kept moving from city to city until they found a climate more conducive to baseball and less conducive to comparisons with other teams in the area.

Among those teams are the Atlanta Braves. The Braves moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee, Wisconsin after having previously moved from Boston. As a young teenager I remember the Braves of Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain, Eddie Matthews and, yes, Hank Aaron, being in Milwaukee. I remember when Birdie Tebbetts was fired as manager following the 1963 season. What I didn't know is the following story unearthed by author and writer Bob Fenster.

Tebbetts left two sealed envelopes in the desk of the manager's office marked "1" and "2" and labeled "Open in Emergency ONLY." Bobby Bragan followed Tebbetts as manager of the Braves in 1964. In 1965 he opened the first of the two envelopes following a dismal 1964 campaign and a less than thrilling start to 1965. The letter enclosed simply read, "Blame it on me." In 1966, with the Braves still struggling, Bragan opened the second envelope. Inside Bragan found a fitting message left by Tebbetts. "Prepare two letters."

While some teams are well-traveled so are managers. Most not by their choice. When they fail to bring home a winner they're sent packing. Some are even fired because of disagreements with their owners, a la Billy Martin of the Yankees with George Steinbrenner. My question to you is this; has your life ever gotten so bad that you thought about firing God? Think about it for a moment. Somewhere along the line things haven't exactly gone the way you thought they were going to go and you disagreed with what you thought were shortcomings in God's blessings. Usually such thoughts come when we have too much control in our lives and are trying to exercise it.

"Come, now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.' But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil." James 4:13-16 A little caution. Make plans for your "moves" based upon Godly counsel and God will bless. "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7

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