In 1935, William Wrigley, the owner of the Chicago Cubs, was approached by Charles Graham, the owner of the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League. Graham told Wrigley that he had a good young ballplayer he’d be willing to sell for $25,000. Wrigley was hesitant because the ballplayer in question had suffered an injury the year before. Understanding his reluctance, Graham offered to let Wrigley have the player on a trial basis. If he performed well, Wrigley would pay the $25,000. If he didn’t, Wrigley could return the player and it wouldn’t cost him a cent. It was a no-lose proposition, but still Wrigley refused.
Of course, you’re wonder who the ball player was.
His name was Joe DiMaggio.*
We all come to pivotal moments when we have to seize or pass on opportunities. Sometimes, like in the case I just mentioned, the choice is a no-brainer. But most of the time there is some risk involved. I wouldn’t insult your intelligence by telling you that I know the secret of always making the right choice. I can certainly look back over my own life and see quite a few missed opportunities.
But I do know this: God intends for us to be opportunity seizers. The Bible is loaded with the accounts of courageous people stepping out on faith and claiming great blessings and victories. And don’t forget, an angry God banished his people to a forty-year trek through an unfriendly wilderness because they refused to seize an opportunity that he had placed right in front of them.
Am I saying that you should greedily grope for every opportunity that comes along? Absolutely not! But I do believe that as you grow stronger in your faith, you’ll be able to recognize the hand of God at work. You’ll see good opportunities that you once would have missed. And you’ll have more courage in the face of risk.
Is there an opportunity sitting in front of you right now? At least give it a long, hard look. The Chicago Cubs are baseball’s most hapless franchise, having not won a championship in over a century. One can only wonder what might have been if Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio had become a Cub instead of a Yankee.
For further reflection read Proverbs 10:5, 2 Corinthians 9:10 and Colossians 4:5.
*Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo, The Baseball Hall of Shame (New York: Pocket Sports, 1986), 70