Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Perfection exists in baseball, at least for 23 pitchers in the history of the sport. Last week Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners became the 23rd pitcher to ever throw a perfect game. If you're not sure what that means, pitching a perfect game means no opposition batter ever makes it to first base. (You can read a more complete description here.)

Even more incredible is that this is the third perfect game this year!  Before the season started there were only 20 perfect games in over 100 years of professional baseball. Now there are 23! (Hernandez, Matt Cain, & Philip Humber)

But even for these great pitchers, their perfection is momentary. There's no such thing as a perfect month, or a perfect season. Interestingly, batters are at the other end of the spectrum. They don't even have to get on base one-third of the time to be a super-star. At the time of writing only three players in MLB have an average above .333 (and one of them was just suspended 50 games for taking PEDs!).

In the Sermon on the Mount, just after Jesus tells his followers to love their enemies, he drops this bomb, "Be perfect, therefore, as you heavenly father is perfect". (Matthew 5:48) Of course, we can never live a life free from sin. We'll always muck up and need forgiveness. But God wants us to have the goal of perfection. He wants us to imitate Him as much as we're able.

Just as occasionally baseball pitchers can achieve moments of perfection, we too can achieve moments of perfection in our lives. And we can do so with a lot more regularity than a pitcher. In fact, no pitcher has ever thrown 2 perfect games in a career. Yet as the Holy Spirit works in us, transforming us into the image of God our moments of perfection can continually increase.

Most pitchers never pitch a perfect game, but they still try every time they play. We need to take a similar approach to life. We won't ever life a perfect life, but we keep shooting for perfection, and honour God in the process.

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