Being a Rockies’ fan has its ups and downs—historically, there have been more downs than ups, I’m afraid. Being no-hit last night by Dodger’s pitcher Clayton Kershaw was pretty low! While it was only the third time in franchise history that no Rockies’ hitter got a hit in an official baseball game, there was a particular pain to the “no no” last night. Kershaw was picked by the Dodgers with the seventh overall pick in the 2006 Major League Draft. That means he was available when the Rockies used the second overall pick to take right-hander Greg Reynolds out of Stanford University (via http://www.baseball-reference.com). While Kershaw is arguably the best pitcher baseball has seen this generation, Reynolds is duking it out in Japan’s professional baseball league with the Saitama Seibu Lions. So far, he’s notched a very mortal 6-11 record in America’s professional baseball league. He’s 0-5 with a 5.52 ERA with the Lions (bis.npb.org.jp).
This is not intended to be a rip on Greg Reynolds or even Colorado’s front office, though the local fan base may like to see it. Nor is it simply an opportunity to vent frustration against our local diamond dwellers. It is, however, a great illustration of something that can happen elsewhere in life. Reynolds was selected so high in the draft because of potential, a record of achievement he had compiled to that point, and certain tools and traits that seemed to scouts and organizational brass like a “can’t miss” opportunity.
How often are we reminded that superior intellect, physical strength, charisma and charm, and abundant material resources alone are insufficient? Whole nations like Edom, Canaan, Egypt, and even Israel learned this in the Old Testament. Individuals with such potential, whether Samson or Saul or the Rich Young Ruler, prove that performance is the ultimate measurement over potential. “Almost” is an unsatisfactory and incomplete idea, as is nearly, close, and “could have been.” The graveyard is littered with stories of those who did not parlay potential into performance. History’s pages portray so many figures who flirted with greatness without getting there.
The stakes are different for us. It’s not millions of dollars, All-Star status, or the Hall of Fame (or even being able to stick on a Major League roster). Intentions are insufficient. Action is all-important. When we are thinking about God’s commands and considering that eternity is at stake, we must have more than tools and talents. We must, simply, do (Mat. 7:21; Luke 6:46).