Letter to the Editor: The marriage amendment and baseball
As the days to voting get closer, the more I hear and see people putting out their opinions of why they are voting 'yes' or 'no' on the marriage amendment.
I have had discussions on this issue with people, and when asked why I am voting 'yes,' I tell them that that is the way God intended it. Some people understand. Others want more of an explanation.
I would tell them the Scripture Genesis 2:24 New International Version 24, "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." And say there is one scripture with two examples. Example 1: father and mother. Example 2: man united with his wife. Still, for some this is not enough.
I prayed for a better answer, and I got that answer a couple weeks ago. It is a story from my baseball playing days. I will relate it to the issue at hand, the marriage amendment.
I was 17 years old playing American Legion Baseball in my hometown of Perham. This day we were playing New York Mills. Two towns just 10 miles apart. Now, this game was like any other, with two teams and two umpires. One ump for the bases and one in the box behind home plate. The thing that made this game different for me was that the umpire behind the plate calling balls and strikes was my father. And his hometown was New York Mills.
Most players on both teams and most fans in the stands knew the ump was my father. I came up to bat for the first time, and as I walked to the plate I could hear fans for the visiting team start to say, "Oh the ump is going to favor the batter. It is his son. This is not fair."
With that, the ump took out his brush and cleaned home plate, just as I was digging in the batters box. Once he was done he looked up at me and said, "You better be swinging, boy."
To which I replied, "If it is a strike, Blue, I will swing." (Blue was the nickname for the ump.)
Well, the ump said, "Play ball."
And I got ready for the first pitch. As it came to the plate I thought it was just too far outside and let it go. The catcher caught the ball and I heard the ump say, "Strike one!" My head instantly turned straight back and looked at the ump, my father, with confusion and I shook my head in disbelief.
The second pitch came and it was even further outside of the strike zone, and I let it go. The ump said, "Two!" This meant I had two strikes against me. I stepped out of the batters box and again looked at the ump, my father, and shook my head in even more disbelief.
After roughly 20 seconds, I stepped back in to the box and got ready for the next pitch. As it came, I remember it being so far out of the strike zone in my mind that if I swung at it I would not have been able to put my bat on it. Then I heard the umpire say, "Strike three, you're out!"
Right there I wanted to argue with the umpire. I wanted to get right in his face and yell at him and tell him how he was wrong. But I stopped. Because I knew that there has never been an umpire that has changed his mind on a strike call once he made the call. And arguing my point was not going to change the fact that I just struck out on what I thought were three balls for pitches. The ump called them strikes. That made them strikes. It did not matter that I thought they were balls.
Now you might be saying, "How does this story relate to the marriage amendment?" Let me show you.
Let us put you in this game. But the game is not a baseball game. It is the game of life. There is an umpire in this game of life. He is Jesus Christ. He is not calling balls and strike, but truths and lies. The batters box at this particular time of the game of life will be the voting booth. The pitch thrown to you will be the marriage amendment.
The best part about this game is that even before the pitch is thrown to you, the umpire, Jesus Christ, is telling you to vote 'yes.' He is saying, "I created man in my own image and created woman to be his wife." And any argument or disagreement you try to have to change his mind on that call of the game will not change it. Because it is the truth. He said so.
And when your time comes to be judged by the umpire in the game of life, don't let your 'no' vote on the marriage amendment be a replay that he asks you about - as in, 'Why did you vote 'no' when I told you in the Bible that marriage is between a man and a woman?' Because any explanation you give to him still will not change his mind on the call.
I hope this helps anyone who believes in Jesus to vote 'yes' for the marriage amendment.