By Tom Siebert
In Game 2 of the American League Championship Series in 2005, A.J. Pierzynski of the Chicago White Sox struck out swinging with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim apparently won the game. However, A.J. realized that he had not been called out, so he ran safely to first base, and the umpire ruled that the Angels catcher had not legally caught the pitch. The White Sox went on to win the game and eventually the World Series.
This was a rare exception to the “three strikes and you’re out” rule that prevails not only in baseball but in life. Employers often terminate a worker who receives three disciplinary write-ups. Some states have a three-strikes law that sentences offenders to life in prison for three felony convictions. With God, however, three strikes and you’re not necessarily out. The apostle Peter denied the Lord Jesus Christ three times, shortly before He was crucified (John 18:13-27). But when the resurrected Jesus appeared before Peter, He did not fire the repentant disciple from His ministry, instead telling him, “Tend to My sheep” (John 21:16). So when I strike out, which is often, there is still a way to run the path that God has set for me. The Bible states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).