Thursday, April 9, 2009

Death Of An Angel

Last night we took in an Angels baseball game on TV, which is a pretty rare occurrence for us. When I say `we' and `us' I should make it fairly clear that it was Brenton, Taylor, Ethan and me watching the game. I've been an Angels fan since I was about 10 and my dad took me to a game to see Nolan Ryan pitch -- and win throwing a 1-hitter -- against the Yankees. Last night, a 22-year-old kid named Nick Adenhart pitched six shutout innings for the Angels and it was a beautiful thing. He had a wicked fastball and a filthy curve that made more than a few A's batters look foolish. A couple of those curves looked like he was throwing Wiffle balls. On a couple of the pitches that went for strikeouts I yelled at the poor A's batter, "Sit down!" (For the baseball-challenged fans, that means go back to the bench and sit down. Real Christian of me, eh?)The Angels have been expecting great things from Adenhart for a few years as he progressed through the minor leagues and it looked like he was finally delivering.

On the drive home from a four-hour Bible doctrine class today, Ethan called me to say that Adenhart was killed early this morning in a car wreck. "What?" I said to Ethan. My son said Adenhart was riding with three buddies when an alleged drunk driver ran a red light and broadsided their car, smashing it into a telephone pole. Three of the young men in the car died and the fourth is in intensive care. The alleged drunk driver ran from the accident but was later apprehended by police. I couldn't believe it when Ethan told me about Adenhart's death. My first thought was wondering if he was saved. I don't know. Media accounts portray him as a quiet, polite young man with immense God-given talent. I watched a few SportsCenter clips about him on the computer today and remembered watching him pitch last night and thinking what a great future he had and how the Angels were set with a studly young pitcher. And the thing I'm left with is how fragile life is and how sure we should be of our salvation. The Bible teaches the only way to God is through Christ. Make your election sure by accepting Christ, leaving the rest of us no doubt about your place in eternity.


  1. matt, thank you for that profound thought. your right about life being short...the Bible says that our life is but a vapor! keep preaching brother.

  2. Matt,

    You are so right about how fragile life is. That is such a tragedy. I look back at times when I got behind the wheel of a car after I'd had too much to drink. It is only by God's grace that I was never in an accident.

    My cousin played AAA ball for the Astros before he and his buddies made the costly mistake of drinking and driving. He spent a long time in the hospital. After several reconstructive surgeries, he still has very deep, noticible scars on his face. (This happened over 20 years ago.) He also threw away his career as a pitcher, as the injuries sustained in the accident made it impossible for him to throw with the force and accuracy he once had.

    I think kids hear "Don't drink and drive" so often that it goes in one ear and out the other. But they have no idea how many lives just one mistake can affect.