Comebacks and Cop-outs

He's back . . . and the trip wasn't easy!

If you're not a baseball fan, keep reading. There's more to this story than the national pastime.

In 2009, Stephen Strasburg was the #1 player selected in the draft. His signing bonus was the largest in baseball history. His Major League debut packed the stadium. Then two months into a career that was drawing comparisons to pitching legends, the unthinkable happened. The ligament in his throwing elbow popped. Game over. Career possibly in jeopardy.

Tuesday, after 368 days on the comeback trail, Stephen walked to the mound. The trip wasn't pleasant: surgery, followed by months of conditioning, and then six rehab starts with four different minor league teams in just 30 days. But his efforts paid off. His first pitch, a blistering fastball, was clocked at 96 mph. Yep, he's back!

I love Stephen's attitude. Reflecting on his injury he said,

“I wanted to get stronger, mentally and physically, through this process. I had something that I wanted to work on every single day. I didn’t waste a minute waiting for this time to come . . . .[1]  "It's something that, as soon as I went under the knife, my goal was to pitch in the big leagues in 2011."[2]

Life is difficult. Which is probably why it is so much easier to cop-out than to come back! Maybe that is why God warns us to stop stalling and to get moving.

The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!" Proverbs 22:13 ESV As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed. Proverbs 26:14 ESV

The sluggard's soft pillow is enticing. It is so much easier to make excuses about the dangers that lurk just outside our doors than to face our fears, get our butts out of bed, and get going. So God yanks back the sheets that cover our rationalizations and pushes us out of the sack.

Thanks for making the comeback, Stephen! Because today, I'm tired. It was a long day yesterday, and right now I really don't want to write. I think, "Maybe I'll just put my pen down for the night and give it a rest. Besides, I can't do my best work if I'm tired."

But that's a cop-out. There are no lions outside my door!


[1] Joseph White, "Strasburg comes back strong; Dodgers top Nats 7-3," Accessed September 7, 2011. [2] By Dylan Hernandez, "Stephen Strasburg comes back big, but so do Dodgers in 7-3 victory." Accessed September 7, 2011.