Torch, Summer 1991

-------------------------------------- by Ron Coriell hen I was a boy in inner city Chicago, I played many a pickup baseball game in a favorite city park. From various neighborhoods my friends would gather at the battered, in-need-of-paint backstop, and we would "choose up" teams. Who got to choose first was determined by a ritual that I think must be universal from the New York Bronx to the sand lots of Los Angeles. They probably do it in the parks in Japan, too. One leader in the group would produce a bat, tum it upside down and grab it about half way up with his hand. Then the captain of the other team circled the bat with his hand just above the first boy 's. Towards the end of the bat they alternated handholds until at last there was no room for a full hand. If you agreed ahead of time, one captain could win the contest by applying the last hold with his thumb and forefinger. The purpose to this ritual was to determine who would be able to choose first the most valued player, a coveted advan– tage if your friends were a mixture of athletic talent. I always wanted to be a chooser instead of a choosee. That way I controlled my baseball destiny, for that day at least. Life is like picking your players in the sense that we get to make choices that determine our destiny. God lets us win at the ritual of the bat. He lets us choose the things we value, and we live with the results. In this issue of Cedarville TORCH the authors have directed our attention to three tremendous values: God, family , and ministry. If you haven 't noticed already, numbers appear in the layouts to suggest the order of these priorities as the editors think it should be. But, it is our choice whether we choose these or other values and in what order. So what 's my point? Just this. God gives us the choice to value what we want to value. So? What we choose to value makes all the difference in the world in our life direction and ultimate rewards or conse– quences. Let me elaborate. Who or what will be first in our lives? God says to us, "YOU CHOOSE."