By Bob Bunn
In 1936, five players were elected as the first members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The men, who were formally inducted when the Hall of Fame officially opened its doors in Cooperstown, New York, three years later, included stars Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. Legends Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson rounded out the initial class.
Since that first election, more than 300 players, managers, umpires, executives, media members, and other contributors have been enshrined in Cooperstown. Technically, their selections aligned with the rules established by the Hall of Fame’s board of directors and the Baseball Writers Association of America. Still, most baseball fans can list the career milestones that all but ensure a player’s eventual spot in the Hall of Fame.
For pitchers, three hundred wins or three thousand strikeouts in a career are hard to ignore. For hitters, magic numbers like five hundred home runs, three thousand total hits, or a .300 batting average speak volumes. Of course, World Series wins and All-Star appearances don’t hurt. In fact, great baseball players can create a path to the Hall of Fame in any number of ways. That’s part of the beauty of the sport.
However, things work differently in God’s economy. For Him, talent takes a back seat every time. When it comes to His kingdom, only one thing really matters: faith.
That’s the message of Hebrews 11. From the very beginning of the chapter, the anonymous writer spells out God’s standard for greatness (Hebrews 11:1). Faith means embracing what you can’t see as if it’s a done deal. It’s seeing the unseen as clearly as the nose on your face because you trust what God promised.
Simply put, faith is a big deal to God. If you need additional proof, remember that it’s impossible to truly please Him without it (v.6). All our personal strengths and sacrificial efforts are pointless without faith. All our good deeds and kind words fall short unless they’re built on a foundation of faith.