I have this problem. Many of my friends notice it, my family is aware of the habit, but regardless how much poking and prodding they do, I won’t quit. This habit isn’t fully present all throughout the year, but it has reared it’s ugly head over the past couple of months.
Okay, it’s time for me to out myself.
Hi, my name is Will. I’m a baseball addict.
There *gasping sound* I’ve said it. Not to surprised are you though?
I mean, if you know anything about me it’s that first I’m a minister, second I’m from Iowa and I’m proud of it and then a close third that I’m a Cubs fan and even more proud of that. Baseball holds a high place in my life. I put it on a pedastel and it rarely lets me down. Don’t get me wrong, the Cubs let me down all the time, for whatever reason I have hope that they will do well and…well I guess wait till next year.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons that I love baseball so much, I am always hopeful. It makes have this fluttery feeling in my tummy like when I was a kid. Life can be rotten, life can put me down, I could be stressed, angry, physically hurt, mentally drained, and baseball is the cure.
Maybe it’s one of those liminal spots where I can access the face of God. Maybe God is there in the teamwork, simplicity, and complexity of the game.
Baseball is simple, but it is also complex. It is see glove-throw it to glove, see ball-hit ball, see ball-field ball, but baseball is also extremely complex. When do I do the double steal, the double switch, do I throw a curveball after just throwing a fastball? Is he going to pitch out? Is the pitcher getting tired? All of these questions and more go through the minds of the players and coaches.
God is simple, but God is complex. God is love, but thousands of theologians for thousands of years have tried to describe God. I mean, have you tried to read Aquinas’ entire Summa Theologica? I sure haven’t and I commend you if you have, but many millions of words have been written to describe God. Many words and I don’t think that we are any closer to knowing what God is like. The closest we can get is through analogy and metapor (at least according to Sallie McFague and Calvin).
But in baseball I see God and experience the love of God. You can argue with me if you want, but this is my experience and my blog. I make the rules here (Do I or does Google?).
I play on an adult league baseball team. Although it hurts my shoulder everytime I pick up a baseball, I do it because of the joy it brings me. I play because I’m competitve by nature and this gives a release. I play baseball most importantly because of what I see among the other men that I play with. I see real community. I see men of different backgrounds: culturally, regionally, finacially, etc. come together just to enjoy each other’s company and play a game. I put my body through the pain so that I can be a part of baseball team that also participates in anti-domestic violence marches. I drive farther than I need to so that I can catch up with the guys and know how they are doing, but also so they know that someone cares on some level. I go back because of the authentic, real, and palpable community that we have.
I thank God that I’m able to participate in that community. I am extremely thankful that I am able to see God in a thing as mundane as baseball is (at least according to some who prefer football). I hope that everyone has something similar to see God in as I do, but if you don’t, I’d invite you to come to Wrigley Field with me or come sit in a dug-out on a crappy field with a bunch of wash-outs and has beens known as the Fort Worth Cobras. I think you’ll be surprised by what you find
Oh and of course, Go Cubs Go!