There isn’t much that will be memorable about the Diamondbacks’ season this year, since it ended so quickly after a great start. But let me give you something really positive to remember about a baseball player named Tim Burke. Tim was a pitcher for the Montreal Expos and the New York Yankees. With potentially several more good years ahead of him, he retired from baseball at the age of thirty three. Everyone wanted know why a veteran player with a fantastic salary and only a few years left to draw it would throw it away for something else.
Here is that “something else.” Tim and his wife Christine could not have children. Over time they adopted four Korean children, all with special needs. As Tim realized the demands this put on his wife to be “mother, father, doctor, mover, plumber, etc.” he decided he would give up the game he loved in order to be a major league dad and husband. Christine was deeply moved by her husband’s decision for a number of reasons: she knew how much he loved baseball but realized through this decision how much he loved God, her, and their children. She was especially touched by Tim’s dedication to their children because her own father had deserted his family before she was born. She had never known a father’s unconditional love. Her husband’s decision was a clear indication that his family was now his greatest priority in life.
Mr. Burke is a true hero. Any man who chooses to forfeit a very lucrative career so that he can be with his family has earned a place in the spotlight. But I am afraid it will take many more actions like this to awaken the conscience of the American male who, in pursuit of personal pleasure or self-fulfillment, has left his family to shift for themselves. God has given the husband and father a great opportunity to experience the unity of “two becoming one” and then multiplying into a family. No other relationship offers such potential as the community of love we call “the family.” It is the tragedy of today’s husbands and fathers that few of them seem interested in achieving it. Mr. Burke obviously understood what so may of us find out the hard way—that babies grow up quickly and that family unity can easily degenerate into brokenness and fragmentation. And for that process there is no instant replay.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship