The Bond of Baseball
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com Program Director
CBN.com - Do the Washington Natonals have what it takes to finally get over the hump this season and win their first World Series?
Will the Boston Red Sox recover from last season's turmoil with a new manager? Will New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez be able to overcome a potential career ending injury? Do the Chicago Cubs have what it takes to win their
first world championship since 1908?
As the 2013 Major League baseball season begins, there is hope for all teams and fans
across North America. It is the only time of the year on the baseball calendar
where every team can claim hope and optimism for their season.
Every team is a winner. There are no losers. Despite the ever-increasing
chasm of baseball economics where the rich teams get richer and
the poor ones get poorer, there are only winners during the first week of the season.
From Boston to Los Angeles back to Chicago, every fan’s
thought process is the same.
"Well, if Pedro can win 18 games, and Bobby Z. can crank 40 home runs,
then I would have to say we have a legitimate shot to win it all
this year. But you can’t forget those dreaded Yankees."
Over the next few days , thousands and thousands of young boys and girls will make
that all-important journey to their first major league baseball
game. Wearing a cap that is three to four sizes too big, and carrying
a mitt that appears to be the size of the family dog, these boys
and girls will walk up to the final entrance of the ballpark literally
dancing on their tiptoes. When they finally enter, their mouths
will fall open with wide-eyed wonder. A diamond shaped field of
emerald green lies before them as their heroes scurry about preparing
for the game. The ever-present aroma of hot dogs, popcorn, and
cotton candy waft through the air as they find their seats. The
next three hours will go by in an instant. When the game is over,
each child will look constantly over their shoulder as they leave
the stadium, admiring every nook and cranny of their experience.
In this ever-increasing fast paced society we live in, baseball
has taken its fair share of criticism in recent years for being
boring. The game provides no instant gratification. Some people
have likened it to watching paint dry. It is downright uneventful.
But to someone like me, baseball serves as a bond between father
Some of the most precious moments of my life involve just a bat,
a ball, a glove, and my father.
Wearing a battered, scuffed, rag of a baseball mitt, I would
stand in the last gleams of twilight as my father hit ball after
ball to me in our backyard. Through this nightly ritual
I really got to know my father as a man who truly loved me for being me. Baseball served as a form of communication for us. Amongst
all the talk of who we thought deserved to make the All-Star team
that year, were important discussions about life and becoming
a responsible person. As we have seen in recent years, a lack
of communication between father and son can have devastating effects.
Considering this, baseball’s bond seems even more important
now than ever.
Even when I got older and sometimes felt my father and I were
from different time zones, sometimes planets, we always had the
language of baseball to communicate. Whether it was sitting at
the breakfast table poring over boxscores from games played the
night before or riding home from one of my games listening to
our beloved Red Sox on the radio, we always had this bond between
us known as baseball.
But more importantly, baseball serves as a reminder to me that
when everything in life seems to be twisting out of control I always
have an excellent way to communicate with my other Father. That
is through the mighty power of prayer.
God provides us with an open door of communication through prayer.
Whatever time or for whatever reason, our Lord hears each and
every one of our pleas. Better yet, He answers.
Psalm 6 provides a fine example of this. Verses 8-9 state: "Depart
from me, all you workers of iniquity; For the Lord has heard the
voice of my weeping. The Lord has heard my supplication; The Lord
will receive my prayer."
We can almost feel David sobbing as he cries out to God for mercy
and deliverance. Even though he was faced with incredible circumstances,
he never wavered in his faith in God. It was through prayer that
he affirmed this.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we can bring everything
good or bad to our Father and he listens? Better still, he genuinely
cares for each and every one of us.
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