published Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Mohney: Blending baseball, Bible are focus of little boy

By Nell Mohney

What do you think when spring arrives?

If your name is Jackson David Gray, my 21/2-year-old great-grandson, the answer to the above question is "baseball." Yet, Jackson might also say, "golf and basketball, trains and 'diggers' (construction equipment)." Actually, he likes everything that moves or causes him to move.

But Jackson's first answer to the question would be "baseball." In fact, during Thanksgiving week last year, his pre-school teacher made a gratitude list. Each child was asked to name one thing for which he or she was most thankful.

Some children said, "Mommy and Daddy" or "my pre-school teacher" or "church," but Jackson said "baseball." No little boy loves his parents, friends, and Jesus more than Jackson. Yet, like his mother, Ellen Mohney Gray, and his dad, Ryan Gray, he is an athlete through and through.

Two weeks ago, I saw Jackson at the home of my son and daughter-in-law, Ralph and Jackie Mohney. Suddenly, I thought of another person who loves baseball. He is Bobby Richardson, the former New York Yankees star and a strong Christian whom I've interviewed twice. He spoke at the funerals of fellow Yankees Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.

During both of my interviews with Richardson, I asked the same question: "What do you do after you've been a baseball star for the Yankees, held the world's record for runs batted in and tied for the world's record of most hits in a World Series?"

Both times he replied, "If your name is Bobby Richardson, you wait for God's direction and walk through the doors he opens."

It is my prayer for Jackson Gray that he will have the same answer when he is old enough to play real baseball. He is already on the way since he hits hard whatever ball comes his way, and he has a biblical memory verse for each day of the week.

"You're on the way, Jackson. Keep going."

Nell Mohney is a Christian author, motivational speaker and seminar leader. Contact her at nellwmohney @comcast.net.

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