Finding Our Voice

Chipper Jones And Finding the Voice God Gave Us (9.28.12)

"On Sunday, I made my final trip to Shea, from Manhattan to Flushing Meadow on the team bus. Excuse me. Not Shea. Citi Field. Shea is the third of my four kids, all boys. Shea Stadium was the place where the fans would chant 'Lar-ry!' 'Lar-ry!' in that New York singsong, but I got the last laugh. I raked there, spouted off in the papers, had a good time- and the fans let me have it. What more could a ballplayer want?"

"Bottom of the 19th, The Walk-off" Chipper Jones, Sports Illustrated, September 17, 2012.

You have to read Chipper Jones' in-his-own-words good bye to playing baseball in a recent Sports Illustrated.

It's not inside baseball- it's inside life (pura vida), and inside his spirit, too.

Chipper shows the power and effectiveness of someone who has found his own God given voice.

We have all heard the preacher or politician trying to imitate others. They often use the same words, have the same pluck, but it's tedious because they are using somebody else's playbook. 

The word reminds that our speech is best filled with grace, with a little salt thrown in too (Colossians 4,5-6).

It's from this free and self authenticating grace of God mixed with the salt of everyday wisdom, that we learn the voice God gave us. 

We're not born with it.

Some folks might never find it, not having ever had the confidence, or the outlet. But for others a crisis presents, or love presents itself, or a God given talent sprouts up, and then, this voice emerges.

What finally gave the Apostle Peter his bold and prophetic voice? 

You remember it was Peter (Mark 9,4) who didn't know what to say when Jesus is standing there transfigured on the mount, standing with Elijah and Moses. The best Peter could muster is "Let's build three huts" as if they were equal, as if hanging out, was on Jesus' mind.

Peter didn't have his God given voice either (in fact he totally dissembles) when a young servant girl confronted him immediately after Jesus was kidnapped, thinking Peter would at least attempt to save his master: " 'You also were with Jesus of Galillee.' But he denied it before them saying, 'I do not know what you are saying.' " (Matthew 26,70).   

But after Jesus rose, and restored him by his merciful love, and after the transforming experience of Baptism in the Holy Ghost, Peter found his God given voice and called out beloved Jerusalem assembled for the Feast of Pentecost:

"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, 'Men of Judea, and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.' "   (Acts 2,14)

Peter also went on to tell the man born blind, who begged daily, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, 'rise up and walk.' " (Acts 3,6)

All our God given voices proceed out of not what we don't have, but what we do have, which we then give away, on behalf of others.

In our own time several people immediately come to my spirit who consistently demonstrate their God given voice, such as: Peggy Noonan (Columnist at the Wall Street Journal), Doug Gottlieb (who editorializes for CBS Radio and works for ESPN); Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister of Israel) and Joel Osteen (Mega Church Preacher).

And many others too.

Our God given voice is not always popular, but I'd rather listen to anyone's God given voice than any other voice they might have.

Even Atlanta's Chipper Jones spouting off.

Perhaps some Mets fans can even appreciate Chipper's voice this time, as he retires anyway.



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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.