Auntie Em: "I saw you tinkering with that contraption, Hickory. Now you and Hunk get back to that wagon."
Hickory: "All right, Mrs. Gale. But some day they're going to erect a statue to me in this town, and---"
Auntie Em: "Well, don't start posing for it now."
I always look for George Will's spring rhapsody to the game of baseball, but some stories owe as much to Proverbs as Psalms. The Philadelphia Phillies' $20.5 million pitcher, Cole Hamels, is having a sluggish April on the mound. And the reason he's having a sluggish April is because he was having a swinging January, in the burst of popularity that was lavished upon him after winning the title of Most Valuable Player in the 2008 World Series.
It was "The Late Show with David Letterman," and the cover of Sports Illustrated, the purchase of a new house in a tony Philadelphia neighborhood, and time-outs from training in Clearwater, Fla., to attend autograph signings and a spot on a Comcast TV show. With refreshing honesty, Coles repents, "I should be ready, and by not being ready I'm jeopardizing the team. I think that's what I've done the last two starts because I pretty much didn't fulfill my end of the bargain and get ready the way I should have."
When great men fall victim to their own greatness, there is usually an accomplice: "A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet" (Proverbs 29:5). The young are especially susceptible, which is why, whether in matters of church leadership or baseball, God cautions us to take care of a young man's soul: "He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil" (1 Timothy 3:6).
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