Things That Never Happened Before

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Haven’t most things happened that could happen in sports – especially in professional sports like golf, basketball, and baseball?  Those sports have been around a long time and a lot of things have happened – any room for something new?  Last weekend, May 16 and 17, something new happened in each sport.

I was very interested in the pro golf Players Championship on Sunday because of the charge that Rickie Fowler was making.  A couple of young golfers in the Frazer family know him and have played against him in college or on the professional tour, and have said great things about him.  He is a class young man.  He is a fine Christian.  He won the Players Championship in a 3-way playoff.

Actually he was so far behind in the final round that his mother, sister and college coach left for the airport to catch a plane.  Rickie caught fire on the 14th hole and started an eagle and birdie barrage like pro golf has never seen.

Rickie Fowler went five under par on the final four holes of the Players Championship.  It was the lowest score for a winner over the last four holes of an event since the PGA Tour began tracking hole-by-hole scores.  That had never happened before in professional golf.  A car and escort were sent to the airport, and his mother, sister and coach got back in time to see him win the playoff hole.

On Sunday the Los Angeles Clippers were playing the Houston Rockets in game four of their series.  The Rockets decided to intentionally foul the Clipper’s center DeAndre Jordan.  It was reminiscent of the “hack a Shaq” strategies against Shaquille O’Neal a few years ago.

DeAndre Jordan was fouled so much that he shot 28 free throw attempts in the first half.  No pro basketball player has ever shot that many free throws in one half.  Jordan only hit 10 of the 28 foul shots, but the strategy didn’t ultimately work as the Rockets lost 128-95.  But something new happened that has never happened before.

On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Pirates were playing the St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cardinals had runners on second and third bases with no outs.  The Cardinals’ Yadier Molina hit a line drive.  It was caught by Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker.  He threw to the third baseman Jung Ho Kang to double off the runner at third.  Kang then threw back to Walker who stepped on second to retire the runner there who had failed to tag up.  It was scored 4-5-4.  In all of baseball history there had never been a second to third to second triple play.

As a sports fan, I was amazed that three things in three different sports that had never happened before could occur on the same weekend.  The odds of that happening are unbelievable.

Has God done everything He is going to do today?  Are there new things that have never happened before that God wants to do?  Is there something in your life – your church – your family that has never happened before?  If new things happen in baseball, golf, and basketball – think about what God might be planning to do that would be far more unbelievable (if we believe) than in sports.

The psalmist David talks about a “new song” (Ps. 40:3). Paul talks about the possibility of a new person in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). The Bible is filled with examples of God doing new things.

You fill in the possibilities.  God’s possibilities for new things in our lives today are far greater than birdies, triple plays, or foul shots.  God can redefine what is possible!

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