From 1960-1966 he was arguably the best pitcher in major league baseball. On October 6, 1965, Koufax declined to pitch the opening game of the World Series. Sandy Koufax is Jewish, and that day was Yom Kippur.
I remember being dumbfounded by the news. Fourteen-year-old me would have traded essential body parts to play in a World Series. Why would a guy turn down a chance to pitch game 1 for church?
I’m less dumbfounded these days. You shall have no other gods before me. I get it.
Or…do I? I’ve never been faced with anything like the choice Koufax faced, and I likely never will. But I wonder what I would do? This isn’t about skipping church or anything legalistic. It’s deeper.
It’s about What comes before God?
When Koufax was asked in later years about whether his decision was difficult, he said it really wasn’t. He said it was just a matter of respect.
My life’s pretty darn cushy. I live under a blanket of privileges, most of which I probably don’t even recognize (until the toaster breaks).
I wouldn’t trade body parts these days for a spot in the World Series, mostly because I don’t have that many working body parts remaining. Paralysis alters one’s values, I guess.
But we all have our “cling-to’s,” those things or experiences we just don’t want to let go of.
Sandy Koufax let go of pitching game 1 of a World Series because God was more important.
I wonder what I’m clinging to so tightly that it’s more important than God? You?
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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com