Baseball, Girlfriends And God

I was a baseball fanatic as a kid. I played organized little league, and All Stars. When we weren’t playing organized ball we were playing sandlot ball. We lived in a growing sub division with plenty of vacant lots. We lived on a corner lot and our side yard made a perfect whiffle ball field. We played whiffle ball in our side yard or Bob Larson’s back yard, next door.

Besides playing baseball I loved to watch baseball on TV, and listening on the radio. I could name the entire starting lineup for the St. Louis Cardinals. I had baseball cards for legends like of Stan Musial, Yogi Berra, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and about 500 more.

On the last day of the regular 1961 baseball season Roger Maris hit his 61st homerun breaking Babe Ruth’s record. That year the Yankees beat the Cincinnati Reds in five  exciting games and won the World Series. Whitey Ford broke another record in that series for the most consecutive scoreless innings pitched in a single season, 34 2/3.

I missed it all.  Didn’t care.

In 1961 they consolidated the school system in Southwest Iowa and Northwest Missouri. In my home town, Shenandoah, Iowa we started serving Northboro, a small town in Northwest Missouri, pop. 54. That didn’t mean much to me until my first day in Freshman English. There she was, first row, third seat, the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She was nice to me and smiled at me several times. Darice Whitehill soon became the first true love of my life. For the next two-and-a-half years she became my life. Everything I did revolved around her. I fell just an inch or two short of worshiping her. To be honest, sometimes alone at night in my bed, I probably did worship her.

Because she lived in Northboro, 18 miles from Shenandoah, our long distance love remained a challenge, especially since I didn’t get my driver’s license until December that year. I took every opportunity to drive to Northboro to see her and spend time with her. I carved “Steve loves Darice” in wet cement in our driveway. I even convinced a friend of mine to drive me to a New Year’s Eve dance in Northboro in a blinding snow storm because my dad wouldn’t let me drive the car. When we couldn’t see each other we talked on the phone and wrote letters to each other.

I focused all my attention and affections on Darice.

When they asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment in the law, “He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ” Luke 10:27 (NIV). The Lord wants to be the single most important love of our lives. He wants us to seek Him with all our heart. He wants us to fall in love with Him
and be consumed with Him, just like I was with Darice. Just like I was with baseball before Darice took its place.

Darice and I eventually parted ways. But for a wonderful time in my life a girlfriend became my life.

You may not have a girlfriend to worship. But we have plenty of other things this world would have us worship. Everywhere we look, turn or go something or someone is vying for our attention, our money and our worship. Satan will do anything

Love the Lord your God with all your heart

to draw our focus away from the people or things we make idols. What pulls you away? Who is your Darice Whitehill? Your boyfriend? Your spouse? Your children? Your job? Your car, home, big screen TV, your “team” your musical group, your favorite show, your Hollywood idol?

God wants you to love Him first and more than you love anything or anyone else on earth. When I fell in love with Darice, she replaced the most valuable thing in my life at the time — baseball.

Don’t love a girlfriend, or baseball or anything else in life, more than you love the Lord.

Do you have an idol, something or someone you worship more than you love the Lord? Do you know the Lord? Have you felt His unconditional love, His forgiveness? His mercy? His grace?

You can if you know Him and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. To find out more about the One who wants to be the True Love Of Your Life, follow this link.

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5 thoughts on “Baseball, Girlfriends And God

  1. Susan, thanks for your encouragement. It is always such a blessing to hear from you. We had used cars. The first one I drove was a stick-shift Nash Rambler. It was correctly named because it just rambled down the road. It never roared, it never zoomed, my dreams of a race car driver ended with the Nash.
    Have a blessed day and thank you again.


  2. What a great story of life! In my mis-spent youth it wasn’t baseball or a boyfriend – it was a pick-up that would go 140mph. Things were different then. Thanks to God for stepping in and showing me the right road to take, and for putting a governor on the gas pedal.


  3. Hey Steve,
    I appreciate your revelations as a teenager, I can relate. Thanks for your blog. I thank God for you and your writing ability. Since I did’t arrive in Shen until my senior year(64-65), I didn’t know you and Darice were a couple. I hope you’re safe from that contract.


    1. Ben, thanks for the kind words. Yes, Darice married after college and wound up an HR guru in an Omaha hospital, where she worked until she retired a few years ago. Her husband died of cancer a few years ago and Darice now spends lots of her time with her grandkids, as I understand it.
      Nice to stay in touch and thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words mean a whole lot to me.


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