Change abounds. Life flows. You can either smile and laugh, or weep and fear.
Today I want to offer a post that doesn’t fit nicely in the normal theme of this blog. This isn’t a reflection about leadership, or the church. This really isn’t about neighbor love either. It might fit under an umbrella of “vocation,” but that would be a stretch.
This post is about two things that I love: life and baseball.
Life is fun right now. Imagining possibilities, wonderful conversations, and seeing what might be next.
Life is also a bit bumpy right now. This isn’t so much for me, but for many people around me- friends and family going through major life transitions and all of the questions, wondering, and emotions that come with them.
You might be wondering about where any of this is funny? Well, I am getting to that.
I find rest and assurance in the promises, found in God to be sure. These promises make sense and provide hope in the midst of life. But I also find space to rest, relax, and really to simply be by spending some “me” time taking in some baseball and football on TV.
I have mentioned before how I am a sports fan. Well, my number one team, the first team I ever loved to watch, support, root for and potentially imagine myself being a part of in some way, were the Seattle Mariners. (For those of you who aren’t sports fans, that is the Major League Baseball team in Seattle.) This past weekend, was a joy and it reminded me what it can be like to stay up late rooting on your team with something to play for.
Almost a year ago, I wrote about how I thought the Mariners were a mess. Fast forward to the present day, and the Mariners just played half-way through their final game, and it mattered (well until about 2:46pm PDT anyway on Sunday September 28, 2014). Up to that point, the Mariners had a chance. Up to that point, the Mariners mattered. Isn’t that what we all hope for as sports fans, that our favorite team is playing a game that matters up to the end? That the dream of a championship is alive? That dream was alive until the middle of the afternoon yesterday.
Again, you might be wondering how any of this is funny? Shouldn’t I be sad? No, it’s all kind of funny. By all rights, the Mariners should not have been in position to be challenging for a playoff spot given how poorly they had played over the past week or so. But things kept happening, and two other teams kept losing to keep giving the Mariners a chance. What was funny is that, I was able to put my rational brain aside for a couple days, and believe. It didn’t make sense. Yet, there was just something a bit magical about them. Saturday night, they had to win to keep their hopes alive. They did win. I stayed up and watched that entire game. I was up to the very end in extra innings, just after midnight central time. (I am a morning person, who happens to have a church job where I get up by 6am on Sundays). I wasn’t even tired.
It’s all kind of funny to me. The Mariners, for a few days anyway, and for their whole season, reminded me what it can be like to dream and root on your home team. I mean, I certainly know what that feels like having rooted the Seahawks to the Super Bowl this past year. But the Mariners were, and remain, my favorite team. They made me smile. They made me laugh. And you know what, unlike a year ago, I think this team is going in the right direction and after this season, I think next year could be a very bright one for this ball-club.
I know this is what every sports fan says and hopes. But as of today, I believe it.
Some days are funny. But I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. They put life in perspective. They can some times make us laught at ourselves, and help us to not take ourselves too seriously. They can also give us a few hours of excitement and reprieve from the other spinning plates of life’s adventures and discernment. Thank you Mariners for a fun year! Enjoy the off-season, but most importantly come back hungry next year, with another great bat or two preferably.