Monday, July 13, 2009

What I Learned at the Phillies Game

I am not much of a sports fan…never have been. But when the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference United Methodist Men asked me to go to United Methodist Night at the Phillies and throw out the first pitch, I stepped up to the plate (or I guess it was the mound, literally and figuratively). But I was dreading it! I had never thrown a baseball before. This is true. I threw a few softballs as a kid but never a baseball and never in front of 45,000 people. So I got some good advice from Bill Westbrook, the financial officer of Pen-Del. He said, “When you throw a ball, aim high.” That’s what I did and it worked! The ball did not hit the ground, it did not look like I was bowling, it actually got to the catcher (which was the Phillies Phanatic - what an interesting mascot).

In life we need to aim high - epecially when you don’t think you can do something. Within every one of us God has given gifts and talents and they are not to be hidden “under a bushel.” Do more than you think you can; pray for more than you can possibly imagine; trust God to do what you can’t.

Another lesson I learned was in the bottom of the 9th inning. The Phillies were losing. They were behind 7-4. But they got a second wind and began scoring runs one after another and within minutes (and a few homeruns) they had won the game. Who would have guessed? I had written them off in the 3rd inning. Life is like that too. Always have hope. God’s timing is not our timing. Never give up or you might be missing out on a blessing.

Philadelphia has a pretty good baseball team!

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson


  1. Here's an interesting connection between the Phanatic and the UMC: The original and most phamous Phanatic was Dave Raymond, coach of then University of Delaware football coach, Tubby Raymond. Dave's mother, Sue, was Methodist, and when her funeral was conducted at the Newark UMC, Dave spoke quite eloquently.

    Perhaps not so interesting after all, but your blog entry just reminded me of something. Best wishes.

  2. I was there singing in the Choir, and I must say it was a great day to be a United Methodist!!

    I wrote them off in the 7th inning (does that mean I have more faith than the Bishop?? - nah!! I've thrown a baseball before!!)

    It does speak to our faith in God when we limit what God can do - whenever, wherever, whatever. He can do it, and certainly, Bishop Johnson, the newest Phillies convert, witnessed Him do it at the Phillies game!

    I say that not just about the game, but how about that Choir?!?

  3. Welcome to Philly Phandom Bishop Johnson. You "had written them off in the THIRD inning!!" You will fit right in. And what a wonderful sports analogy from one who has never even thrown a baseball. Let me know when you're ready for a Flyers game!!

  4. I wonder if anyone got any of the event on video? I have been asked MANY times for ANY video of the event.

    If anyone can help me please email me at