It has been a decade now since Gil Meche retired. Most folks have never heard of him. Gil was a professional baseball player, pitching for the Seattle Mariners and the Kansas City Royals. While he had some good years, even an all-star year, he was never considered elite. After some shoulder surgeries and less than good “stuff,” he stepped down.
Here is what makes Gil unique. The Royals still owed him $12,000,000 on his contract. He could have stayed on the roster, pitching a few innings in relief, or maybe not pitching at all. They still would have owed him his salary. This is nearly always what happens in these situations. The athlete stays on, perhaps not playing for a season or two, but collecting on their guaranteed contract. It is just how the game works. Gil, however, walked away from the money.
He said, “When I signed my contract, my main goal was to earn it…Once I started to realize I wasn’t earning my money, I felt bad. I was making a crazy amount of money for not even pitching. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I didn’t want to have those feelings again.” He concluded by remarking that after all the money the team had given him for his life and his kids, “It just wasn’t the right thing to do.”
Friends, that is integrity. He stayed true to his inner voice. While the world, and even the law, would justify another way, his heart led him to do what was right.
Psalm 40: 8 says: “I desire to do your will, O my God, your law is within my heart.”
Stewardship is aligning your life and resources according to what God has placed in your heart. I don’t know what decisions you may be facing these days. I know that for each one there are many competing voices—culture, peers, policies, laws, friends, kids, coworkers, and kin. It can be confusing to know the path.
Listen deeper this week. There is a voice within your heart, a voice that comes to us when we desire to live in the will and way of the Lord. God buries it inside of us for moments such as these. When you hear it, you will know the way you should go. Perhaps it won’t make sense to others, but it will be what makes you feel right about you, and what makes God feel joy in what you do. Follow that path and don’t worry about the rest. The journey will prove its own reward.
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Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana