Leroy Paige had a special philosophy by which he lived.  Who was Leroy Paige?  He was better known as “Satchel.”  He was an outstanding black baseball pitcher. Even as a young man, he was a living legend in Negro baseball.  His success primarily came before the days of Jackie Robinson.  At that time, nobody was willing to risk breaking the color line, even for one of the greatest pitchers baseball has ever seen.  At an age when most players are washed up, “Satchel” received his opportunity to play in the big leagues.  His age was uncertain, but it was an age which should have rendered him ineffective to play ball.  He astounded the baseball world, not just by pitching at his age, but winning.  A newsman asked him to sum up his philosophy of life.  Without hesitation he replied, “Don’t look back, somethin’ may be gainin’ on you.”    
It seemed he lived and played one day, one game at a time.  How appropriate that “Satchel” refused to “look back” with anger or resentment at those who abused him and resented his accomplishments.  How eloquent that this unsophisticated man could say something so profound in simple, common language and give us a living example that the philosophy works. 

  It isn’t clear whether or not “Satchel” himself recognized that he was trusting in the teachings of Jesus by his philosophy.  Jesus teaching is found in Luke 9:62 “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” 
Plowing a straight furrow requires keeping the eyes focused on a point out ahead.  What Jesus is saying is,
“If you do not know how to keep an undivided mind on your plowing – you can’t farm in my field.”

  The baseball world was shocked the morning of January 28, 1958, when Roy Campanella’s car turned over on an ice streaked Long Island road and left him paralysed.  Up to this time, Roy Campanella had the world in his powerful palms, riding high as the best catcher by far in the National League.  He was living one of the great American dreams but how swiftly this all changed.  The once robust athlete was imprisoned in a mummy like world. He could turn his head, slowly and stiffly, he could raise and lower his arms, limply. Otherwise, he was totally paralyzed.  Roy was forcefully removed from the game of baseball so quickly.  Roy Campanella died June 26, 1993.   

  Yet, I wonder, in the game of life how many of us permit the slow death of paralysis to over take us and we become inactive, indifferent in the game of life.  Maybe we meant well, maybe even there was a time when we really tried to live right, but now, we are on the sidelines. 
We don’t have to stay there, get back into the game of life.  Read His word, the Bible. Talk to Him in prayer. Fellowship with His people, the Church.  Get involved in living His life.   This call to undivided loyalty, singleness of purpose,  has always been God’s challenge.  He has never asked less than that man be totally committed to Him.

4 Responses to “DON’T LOOK BACK”

  1. For me, even in retirement, I have not strayed from my commitment to Christ and HIS church. Too many become couch potatoes when there is work to be done. They feel that the younger ones can now do the work. They rest on their past laurels.They miss out on the joys of continuing to serving the ONE and ONLY KING of kings and LORD of ALL. The other night I was thanking God for the Beautiful world that he had created. Then my mind saw a newspaper. I thought, “I can read that from here.” The headlines read: “IT IS FOR YOU”. Surely it was a message from GOD. You can know Him!

  2. Its hard to go through life without looking back ,i think some times it makes us a better person and closer
    to our Lord as we have to depend on him more to keep
    our eyes on the point.
    God bless you and your works.
    love you

  3. One of the main ‘family’ problems I counsel with people today concerns their determination to live in the past. Seems everyone (of all ages) say everything is wrong today … high prices, bad government, lack of energy, mis-understanding’s, depression …. the list goes on and on …. my advice (like that given by you this week) …. is to rejoice in this day … for this is the day the Lord has made … Rejoice and be glad in it!!! …. quit saying “I can’t” and start saying “Why Not” …. every day is a gift … Open it and enjoy it … experience it … Praise God For it !!!!

  4. Max, Excellent devotional thought! John Piper wrote a book called, “Don’t Waste your life” speaking out in part about the American notion about retiring to the easy life of shuffleboard and leisure. I’ve never read anywhere in the Bible anything about retiring from the Lord’s service. I am not going to waste my life on superfluous, mundane living, but instead serving God’s Kingdom with my whole life! I have never had so much fun and enjoyed life as much as I do now at age 82. Philippians 3:12-14

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