by Joey Davis
I'd like to tell you that Jessie is like any other fourteen year old boy. Truth is, Jessie isn't like the other boys. He is special.
You see, due to a birth defect, Jessie Mutz has no arms below his elbows. To anyone else, this would seem a cruel twist of fate . . . one of those tough breaks that you just have to live
with. After all, as the old saying goes, "you have to play with the uniform you were issued, right?" Maybe. But to Jessie, this physical challenge has become an opportunity to become a conqueror; one who overcomes obstacles and rises above his circumstances to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Jessie loves baseball. It may be genetic because his father, Tommy, played pro baseball for the Denver Bears of the American Association for ten years. Yet because of Jessie's physical uniqueness, he has learned to play baseball differently than others.
With help, Jessie learned to catch a baseball with a glove that was fitted to his elbow. Then, after learning to catch the ball, Jessie learned to drop-kick the ball to other players with pinpoint accuracy.
He also invented his own special hitting style; holding the bottom of the bat against his chest with one arm while swinging it with the other arm, using the motion of his body. His little league coach claims that the other boys on the team have practiced hitting the ball like Jessie, and it has improved their hitting.
Last year, Jessie lead his league in stolen bases and was voted the league's Most Valuable Player. Through hard work and perseverance, Jessie has achieved more than his wildest imaginations. After all, anyone can be an athlete, but it takes something extra to be a ballplayer. Hearing Jessie's story has made me examine my commitment to the things that I claim to hold dear. How strong is my foundation?
You see, all Christians share the same spiritual defect. . . sin. We are plagued by it and at times it seems too overwhelming to conquer. Yet our Heavenly Father has told us that we, who have given our lives to Jesus, have a power that works within us that is mightier than sin. ( Ephesians 3)
I wonder what we could do with this power if we were as single minded as Jessie? What could happen to our community if we had the capability for flexibility that he has shown in adjusting to his physical challenges? What would happen if we worked harder at growing spiritually and refused to accept mediocrity?
We would turn the world upside down. . . that's what.
September 22, 1996
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