Baseball season is underway and the Cubs' home opener is tomorrow, so allow me to reflect on the spirituality of baseball. Francis T. Vincent, Jr., the former Commissioner of Major League Baseball, once said this:
Baseball teaches us, or has taught most of us, how to deal with failure. We learn at a very young age that failure is the norm in baseball and, precisely because we have failed, we hold in high regard those who fail less often--those who hit safely in one out of three chances and become star players. I also find it fascinating that baseball, alone in sport, considers errors to be part of the game, part of its rigorous truth.
"Fay" Vincent was on to something brilliant in highlighting the inexorability of imperfection. Failure is a part of life. The insight here is that failure is not necessarily something to overcome and eliminate. This is not to say that we live with mediocrity. But rather that we recognize life is a journey and that utter perfection will not come until our journey is over—when we are with God in heaven. God walks with us on this way. Our imperfections and sins, thus, can actually be a source of blessing and grace. We should never be too discouraged.
A preacher once gave the image of God holding each person by a string. Every time a person sins, the string is cut. But it does not remain cut. God ties up the string again, making a knot. The tying and knotting shortens the string. Every time we sin and cut the string, God has the chance to knot the string and draw us to closer to him.
Yes, baseball season's underway. So you better get ready for a brand new day.