I love the whimsical sobriquets of erstwhile baseball legends. “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, Luke “Fumblefoot” Appling, “Eyechart” Gwasdz, “Piano Legs” Hickman, Squatty, Fatty, Lippy, the “Hebrew Hammer” Braun, and of course, the Bambino. One character was far more original and colorful than his nickname. Lefty Gomez, the Yankee southpaw in the 1930s was renowned for his quirky antics, especially eccentric reasons for calling a time-out.
He once called a time-out in a World Series game to watch a plane fly overhead. On a subsequent occasion, when a thick fog settled on the field, Lefty called a time-out to retrieve his box of matches. He then held the lit match up as if to help the other players see better. Once he was pitching a tense game, the bases were loaded, and the game hinged on his pitch. Unsurprisingly he called for a time-out and beckoned the catcher to come to the mound. The catcher was delighted, assuming they were going to discuss a strategy for this important pitch. But Lefty, in all seriousness, asked him if he had any hunting dogs he wanted to sell. The flustered teammate burst out, “Why are you asking me about dogs while the bases are loaded?” Lefty explained, “A friend of mine knows you hunt, and he asked me to find out if you had any dogs for sale. I promised I’d ask you the next time I thought of it. And I just thought of it!”
Though the unpredictable timing of Lefty Gomez must have been a source of frustration for his teammates, as this vignette reveals, that to Lefty a promise was a promise.
Many Christians are irked by the lack of specificity in God’s promises to bring about His kingdom. The when, where, and how of the kingdom of God is a hotbed of friendly debate (and at times in history, violent Crusades) between Bible students of all stripes. But there is one aspect of God’s promises we should all agree on and take comfort in: the certainty of their fulfillment.