He may be drifting into the past for many, but Mickey Mantle was a Major League Baseball icon in my youth. Across the street from the church of my teen years was Mantle Brook Farms. Mickey Mantle had bought that farm on the outskirts of Dallas to develop a housing community as an investment. As far as I know, he was never there when I was around. We did have connections and would swim in the pool.
Reading Proverbs 1 this morning, I thought about that jarring statement in verse 26, where God says, “I will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you…” (NIV) Of course, pulled from its context, it makes God sound cruel. The reasons given for God’s cold shoulder are found in the preceding two verses, “Since you refuse to listen when I call…since you disregard all my advice…” (NIV)
Those collective explanations make me think of something Mantle said in his later years, when alcoholism caused him to have severe health issues, “If I would have known I was going to live so long, I would have taken better care of myself.” None of us know how long we will live. The time of our death is known only to God. We do have some influence on our departure date. If we pay attention to his rebukes and follow His instructions, our days can lengthen like a shadow in the evening time. (Eccl. 8:13)