On Redbirds and Red Faces

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

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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19 Responses to On Redbirds and Red Faces

  1. Jeff says:

    Great post, Michael. I just got around to reading it. Of course, our hearts were broken Thursday night (Friday night was anti-climactic, really…), but I’m okay. The things that God taught me after that Saturday night game are invaluable. And I’ve never been so glad for the baseball season to be OVER! LOL!!

    • mtsweat says:

      Lessons learned by me also, Jeff. I appreciate your openness. Your post really made me consider my passion for things that really are meaningless in the big picture.

  2. lambskinny says:

    Michael – you must be a happy camper this morning for your Cards are World Series’ Champions! Yay!

    • mtsweat says:

      Yeah, but I really do feel bad for Texas and their fans. How close they came. Anyway, I’m all over getting overly excited about sporting events… Hey! the Georgia – Florida game is on! Gotta run… gooooooo dawgs! [guess some things never change] Thanks, Carley

  3. Debbie says:

    MT – I would redefine “Extreme Sports” as any time the outcome of a sporting event – A GAME – affects a person’s countenance. That to me, is putting an extreme import on something, not only frivolous (and don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with frivolous) but also on something completely outside our control. 🙂
    My Dad played semi-pro baseball and loved the game. He, unfortunately, also loved the Cubs. But his mood was always upbeat, whether they won or lost. He never yelled at the TV either. 😉 On the other hand, I have friends whose entire weekend is ruined if their team loses…

    • mtsweat says:

      Well, now that I’m so late responding to your response, it’s very easy to sound like I’ve mastered this thing (Card’s won the series last night). I hope, after much soul-searching, I would be in the same frame today had Texas taken game seven. Guess we’ll have to monitor my mood during the Florida, Georgia game today. LOL God bless, good friend.

  4. lambskinny says:

    That’s funny, Anne! Well said! Carley

  5. Freedomborn says:

    P.S. An hour a day of footy ? well if God asked then… would it be necessary for me Mike to practise field and goal kicking using the oval shaped ball and believe it is the most important skill in Australian rules. …Help!

  6. Freedomborn says:

    What a great message Mike and very needed, if we are to be perfected it needs to be God’s way not our own.

    I’m not at all sports minded but if others enjoy it …go for it!… but as you shared Mike there needs to be a balance, God’s balance.

    I once heard a Minister say when talking about Marriage … ” when I married my wife who was not sporty, I told her she had to watch the Footy with me for at least one hour, I asked him later how was he enjoying watching cake decorating or designing and making a quilt ???

    Well done Mike – Christian Love Anne.

  7. cc says:

    ..He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Word is a mirror to show my own red face…too often an example of NOT living out the reality of living IN the Kingdom…too many moments of running the “kingdom of Christina”. Your post is an exclamation point on a message the Word hit me with earlier today. I can not get past the “THY kingdom come, THY will be done” part of praying today. Painful post…but needed…ouch…

  8. I used to be in that same spot with NASCAR and Jeff Gordon. I love Jeff Gordon, and when he used to lose, I was miserable for hours. Then the Lord took hold of me and shook me a little, and showed me that the loss of a race was NOT the end of the world as we know it. Some day I will write about my journey as a Jeff Gordon fan, and tell how God touched my heart with that driver. But for now, it is his life, not mine. Mine is here, serving God.

  9. lambskinny says:

    PS – go Cardinals !

  10. lambskinny says:

    MT – I have little passion for sports ( although I was thrilled when Jimmy Connors played again at age – was it only 35?) and I hate soap operas and tabloids but I can still relate to having messed up priorities! Putting God above my self is always a challenge! Thanks for this! I have doubts I would leave my tax collecting booth or my fishing boat to follow Jesus — hence my complete need for His help! Carley

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