Are you a Rangers baseball fan?

If so, you already know about the bad call on Adrian Beltre in game one of the 2011 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Beltre is called out by the Umpire when he fouled off the ball. The cameras clearly showed Beltre hopping about at the moment the ball impacted his toe. Joe Buck and the crew at Fox reviewed the call with some nifty new equipment. It seems that Fox Sports has added this cool infrared camera technology to the series. It pin-points contact of the ball by the heat it emits when it contacts the bat or batter. The Umpire called Beltre out and the IR showed clearly that the ball made contact with his foot which made it a dead ball not an out.

Ron Washington argued with the Umpire—and rightfully he should, it was a bad call. Did you see Beltre? Adrian should be remembered for his response to the injustice. He smiled, but the bat over both shoulders and headed to the dugout. Did you see it? We know how other players might have responded. We've seen entire teams collapse and championships lost in the aftermath of a bad call.

But Beltre just smiled — albeit a sarcastic "you've got to be kidding me" smile — and then he went back to dugout. Even after the game, he refused to lash out at the umpire's mistake.

Blown calls are a fact of life. They come at us in different ways: The boss who gives credit to the wrong guy, the teenager who blames everyone else for their own rudeness, the church member who finds fault in everything the pastor does. The result is that sometimes you get short-changed. You deserve credit, but credit doesn't come your way, thanks to someone else's bad judgment.

It's happened to each of us before, and it will certainly happen again. In Beltre, we see how to respond. You don't lash out. You don't lose your head. You smile and go back to work. You do your job with excellence, even when you have to deal with a little unfairness along the way.

Beltre didn't get the other swing he deserved. But he did show fans everywhere how a sportsman plays the game.

It reminds me of how Paul praised the believers in Thessalonica for their example in the face of suffering...And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia...your faith has become known everywhere. (1 Thessalonians 1:7-8)

It’s your turn at bat! You have a chance to show your corner of the world how a Christ-follower responds ... to setbacks, to struggles, to criticism, to conflict, to disappointment, to injustice. You don't lash out. You don't lose your head. You smile and keep doing your job with excellence. Others will notice.


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