Gems and Pebbles

Just now I have been listening to someone telling over the radio how a pebble brought about the loss of a World Series Championship baseball game. The two contending teams had won an equal number of games. This was the deciding one. It was the end of the ninth inning; the team that was fielding was leading by one run; two men were out, two on base. All that was needed in order to end the game and seal the victory for the fielding team was to put out the player at the bat.

The batter hit a hot liner toward third. The third baseman was ready to catch it and throw it to first to end the game and win the championship. But just before the ball reached him it struck a pebble, bounced high over his head, and the two men on the bases scored. The game and the championship were lost.

The losing of this world championship because of a pebble illustrates how things often considered too little to be harmful can cause serious consequences. Homes are often wrecked or made miserable by an unbending will, a determination to dominate, or disregard for the rights of others. Then there are the pebbles of defeat such as resentment, an unforgiving thought, dishonesty, unkindness, selfish ambition, and indulgence in liquor, tobacco, and animality. Blindness to them blocks the way to worthy accomplishment and spiritual victory.

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