By Clint Percefull - Children's Minister
I have recently been really into watching documentaries. It doesn’t matter the subject of the show, I have watched some on true crimes, video games, restaurants, sports, even some crazy competitions. They have fascinated me for some time now and that is almost all I watch. The other day, I came across a very short documentary that appeared to be about a baseball game. I don’t particularly like baseball, but I have now watched “Long Shot” 3 times.
** Spoiler alert**
In the documentary, a young man is arrested and accused of murder, a crime he denies. He does have some connection to the crime; making it reasonable to assume he was culprit. He is arrested on his way to work and they begin questioning him about the crime. As he thinks back to that day the incident occurred he tells the investigators he was at a baseball game at the time. The detectives don’t believe him and send him to jail to await trial. His attorney furiously works to gather evidence that he was at the game at the time. I won’t go into detail but here is a brief synopsis of what happened.
He had tickets to the game, but that was not enough to show he was at the game.
The attorney watched film of the game and could see his client in the stands behind home plate, but the video was not crisp enough.
The accused took his daughter to the game with him, but she was not old enough to know timing of events.
There happened to be a filming grew at the game that day, filming a sitcom episode.
The show needed to film two different scenes at the ball park that day.
They happened to film the first scene earlier in the game and now needed the second scene behind home plate.
The film crew picked the accused aisle out of all the aisles in the stadium for this second scene.
The daughter wanted some candy right before the film crew arrived and blocked off the isle for filming.
The accused returned to his aisle to find it blocked by the film crew, but a new production assistant didn’t know any better and let them go down the aisle to their seats during filming.
The show happened to still be in preproduction stages so no film was lost or deleted.
The accused happened to make a phone call right before they left the stadium.
These things all lined up perfectly and the judge was able to see the accused at the baseball game on the raw recordings of a preproduction show at the time of the crime, thanks to his daughter, who happened to want candy at that particular moment. An innocent man was set free! At the beginning and end of this show the narrator says something like “We live in a world full of ‘What Ifs’”, and that really got me thinking.
I am very glad we don’t serve a God of “What Ifs”. God is not up in heaven saying “What if we made it rain over here today…let's see what happens”. We know from scripture that He has a plan! However, I think we would be wise to begin asking ourselves “What If”.
“What if this person next to me at the Dr. office needs a short word of encouragement?”
“What if our neighbor is just waiting for someone to invite them to church?”
“What if our routine is broken because God has something to show us?”
“What if I serve somewhere in church that I am not used to serving?”
The book of Esther reminds us that God ordains circumstances and meetings. He has a plan and you and I are a part of that plan. If we are not asking ourselves “What if God has ordained this moment?” we could miss the opportunity.
“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14