18 August, 2007

One Pitch

As a pastor, a preacher, I tend to see something spiritual out of everything.
Yesterday I went to Chicago to watch the Cardinals play the Cubs. It was a good game, even though we lost. It was a real pitchers duel, with each team allowing only 4 hits. One of the Cardinal hits was an Albert Pujols home run, which put the Cards up 1-0.
Unfortunately, one of the few Cub hits, was a home run by Jacque Jones, following a walk, which gave the Cubs a 2-1 advantage. The home run came on a full count, and I cringed as pitcher Braden Looper let go of the pitch, because it had home run written all over it... even for a guy like Jones, who only had four home runs the entire season. It was just a bad pitch. One that I'm sure Looper would give anything to take back. He had thrown a masterful game up until that point. He was sailing along, ready to take the victory and put the Cards one step closer to first place. Take away that pitch, and the Cardinals win 1-0. Take back that pitch and the Cardinals are 1 game behind in the NL Central leading Brewers, but with that pitch, the Cubs are in first, the Brewers are in second and the Cardinals are 3 games out. All because of one pitch... just one pitch that Braden Looper would love to have back.
But once the ball is thrown, it's out there and the out-come is un-doable.
One pitch.

So I'm sitting in Wrigley Field with over 41,000 other screaming people, and as I watch the ball sail over the fence, the wheels begin turning in my head with the spiritual connection. With one bad pitch, Looper went from hero to goat... from victorious to loser. With one pitch, a team that has been surging and charging toward first place has the wind knocked out of their sails and rather than being on the threshold of first place, they are knocked back a few steps.
How many times has that happened to us in our Christian lives?
How many times has one pitch, one wrong word, one bad decision or action sent us into a tailspin and caused us to lose ground? The big difference is that in life, the stakes are so much higher. One thing we must remember is that our mis-steps not only effect us, but those around us. God forgives and gives second, third, hundredth chances, (and for that I am so grateful) but what about those we effected with our "bad pitch"? Remember, that pitch not only cost Looper to take the loss that day; but the team lost as well. That loss to the Cubs, combined with a loss by the Brewers, and now the Cubs are in first place, whereas if the Cardinals would have won, the Brewers would still be a half game up in front. It's that way in life too. We may look at our sin, our failures as "mistakes" that can be overcome, but sin always has a consequence. Always.
We need to use great caution and wisdom with every "pitch" we make in life. One bad pitch can lead to great consequences for all those around us.

1 comment:

Phil Hoover, Chicago said...

Great blog, you scoundrel! You should have at least called and said hello while you were in "My kind of town..."