Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown. He ruled the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont. There was just something about this horse that captured the American dream. The pros had him thumbs down. The experts said he was just ‘a flash’. Yet America idolized this three year old. Eddie Arcaro is one of the greatest jockeys of all time. He was a good commentator, quiet, knowledgeable and usually right. But even he showed his bias and kept rapping Seattle as mediocre.
All Slew ever did was win, win, win!
This is the mistake pros make, not amateurs! In the elite horse circles, Seattle Slew was an outsider. He was not bred, bought, and trained by the “horse people” – the Whitneys and the Vanderbilts. His pedigree did not measure up to the great horses of all time. So the “Horse Pros” said it was the wrong horse, the wrong jockey and the wrong game plan. The horse just kept winning and winning and winning. The Triple Crown was not crowned by the Lord’s of racing, just by the common folks.
Martha Nelson’s estate had a similar outcome. Her heirs were not entitled to reclaim two paintings that were sold to a couple in Tucson, Arizona, back in 1966 for $60,00 dollars. When Mrs. Nelson died, her family put the two painting on sale for a fraction of their worth. They were unaware that “Magnolia Blossoms” and “Cherokee Roses” were valuable 19th century works from noted artist Martin Johnson Heade worth over a million dollars.
When the boon-doggle was discovered, they brought suit to overturn the sale by arguing it was a mistake about the paintings value. A judicial panel ruled the estate representatives “had ample opportunity to discover what the paintings were worth and failed to do so”. In effect the court ruled, you should have known and didn’t know and it is too late now to recoup your gaffe.
In some ways this basic mistake was made about Jesus Christ. He, religiously was an ‘outsider’. He didn’t come from the right city, the right family, or the right background. He was rejected, criticized and crucified . . . by the “pros”, not by the public. The basic cause was envy and professional pride. The last words of Jesus were simple. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). The conclusion is always the question, “What will you do with Jesus?”
The similarities continue in the FINAL COURT OF APPEALS. A teenager forfeits his or her chastity for a roll in the hay or a journey to the back seat. Now it is too late to reclaim the beauty and wonder of innocence, self respect and purity. Another case of judgment is when a young couple just starting out, wanting all the things now that mother and dad have, strap themselves with impulsive and unwise debt only to find they are unable to pay the bills in money or stress.
The liar’s web, the innocent beginning of an affair, the physical abuse of one’s body with drugs – we often don’t see what valuable things we are trading for trifles. It is too late to call off bad transactions after the fact. The writer of Hebrews puts it plainly, “Lest their be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat, sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears” (Hebrews 12:17-17). What is really valuable to you? Beware lest you trade the most wonderful things of life and of character for the scraps someone would throw to you. Keep the proper direction of your life.
The captain of an old schooner called a beginning seaman to the wheel. “Son, I know you are just a deck hand and inexperienced, but do you see that bright star just in line with the forward mast?” “Yes Sir, Captain,”came the quick reply. “Well now, take the wheel and keep the heading on that star till I return.”
When the salty old Captain returned, he looked and was amazed. “Where’s that star, boy? “O Sir, we passed that star a long time ago.”
Mistakes are not mistakes when you correct them. They are the learning tools of life. But the wisest man of all is he that learns from the mistakes and instructions of others. You reply, “if you ain’t tried it, don’t knock it”. Well, I have never put my head into a running 16 inch saw blade, but I can tell you without experience, you don’t ever want to do that.
The wise man put it simple, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
THE FINAL COURT OF APPEALS!