“For a day belonging to the Lord of Armies is coming against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up, it will be humbled.” Isaiah 2:12 CSB
Pete Rose is a legend in baseball. He holds records for the most hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at bats (14,053), singles (3,215) and outs (10,328). He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, and the Rookie of the Year Award. He played in 17 All-Star games in an unequaled five positions (second baseman, left fielder, right fielder, third baseman and first baseman). Pete Rose knows baseball, and he is proud of his record. Unfortunately, he is permanently ineligible from baseball, he cannot be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame because his pride got the best of him.
When Pete retired from baseball, he became a manager of the Cincinnati Reds from 1984 to 1989. During that time, he bet on his team, which is illegal in baseball. He denied the allegations until factual evidence was presented in court. Bart Giamatti the new Commissioner of Baseball was tasked with handling the case. Once the facts were made public, Rose finally confessed to what he had done. Giamatti announced Rose’s suspension and vehemently stated, “There is absolutely no deal for reinstatement.” Eight days after Giamatti made this announcement, only serving seven months as Commissioner of Baseball, he died suddenly of a heart attack. The only man Pete Rose could appeal for reinstatement to baseball died. As a result of his ban, Rose cannot enter the Great American Ball Park, home to the Cincinnati Reds since 2003. It sits on a road way named after him, yet Rose can’t enter its doors.
God humbles the proud.
Rose now lives in Las Vegas. I recently listened to an interview with him conducted by a pastor I follow. He is still a proud man, but he is banned forever from the sport he loves. In the interview he talked about how the one man he could appeal to died. He has no way of ever being allowed into the game again. He has learned to accept this in his life, but yet, there is a sadness that someone who gave so much to the game could be humbled in such a unique way. If Giamatti hadn’t died, Pete Rose may have eventually worn him down. He may have been able to find his way back to his love. Instead, it led him to a church, just off the strip in Vegas where he had the opportunity to meet Jesus.
God humbles the proud, against all that is lifted up, it will be humbled. We don’t have to hold records in baseball to be proud. Pride comes in many different shapes and forms, but humility is where we meet Jesus. Jesus suffered humility for us on the cross so that we can have a life with Him.
Let’s not take that for granted today as we pray:
Lord, You oppose the proud. What is lifted up will be humbled. Help us today to let go of our pride, to seek You and Your will instead. Help us not be blinded by our successes, but in all things, give glory to You (Isaiah 12:2 CSB). In Jesus name we pray. Amen