Have I mentioned the St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series? No… then I guess I should, considering I am a life-long Card’s fan. And, heading into game six, they trail the Texas Rangers, three games two, meaning the games in St. Louis become elimination games. Someone must win four games to win the 2011 championship.
I wasn’t going to write about them. I still plan to say very little about them or baseball. The reason I’m writing this at all is because my good friend over at the Bickley House pricked my conscience with a recent post of his. He too is a baseball fan, but from the opposite dugout. His response to a recent game caused me to survey my own reaction to the game.
And I wasn’t very impressed with what was revealed. What was clearly evident was my placing an unhealthy degree of importance, even urgency, on something meaningless. A baseball game? Seriously?
My joy can be affected by a baseball game? Surely not! But then…
The Cardinals win on Saturday night, and I’m a happy camper. They lose Sunday night, and life’s no longer worth living (I’m exaggerating, but not by much… and if you caught me within minutes after the final pitch, you’d agree).
Recently, I wrote a blog at Christian Blessings, titled Burning Our Bulls. Maybe I should have read my own words with a little more sincerity. I might have avoided the embarrassment of falling prey to my own condemnation.
In that writing, I enquired, “What happened to Elisha’s past life after he was called to follow in the footsteps of Elijah?
The scene (in the Bible) opens with Elisha in the field doing what he does best… plowing. Elijah approaches and throws his mantle on him. Whatever this strange behavior can be taken for by our generation, for Elisha, he knew exactly what to do next.
Elisha takes his yoke of oxen, slaughters, cooks, and feeds them to the people of his town. Guess how he kindled the fire and cooked the oxen? Yeah, with the wood from his plows. Past life… gone. And Elisha followed Elijah. 1 Kings 19: 19-21
A New Testament account of this abandonment of one’s past life is found in the calling of the twelve. In the day when Matthew was making a really good living as a tax collector, Jesus approaches him and simply says, “Follow Me.” Know what the Bible says next?
“So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.” Luke 5:28
Surely, there’s something to be grasped in this. Should I abandon my zeal for the St. Louis Cardinals? Maybe, if need be. But more importantly, maybe I need to examine where my priorities in life lie. Maybe I need to consider Paul’s response to the Philippian congregation regarding what once was near and dear to his heart.
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14