Baseball has always been my first love sport. And, as someone who grew up in this area, the Mariners have always been my team. At times (to be honest, most of the time), that’s been rough. But for nearly 15 years we had hope of something better. Every fifth day, we knew Felix was taking the mound and we might see history. The joy with which he carried himself just increased our joy in watching him succeed. And his decision to stay when he could have (and honestly should have) left for greener pastures and a better chance to win will always be something I’m thankful for.
A couple issues with this. First, among all the different sects and communities of self-proclaimed (because, as I mentioned above, a lot of them clearly aren’t real) Christians, a lot of these focuses aren’t universally desired. Second – and most importantly – I actually don’t find any support for almost any of these in the words and deeds of Jesus. And if the “Christ” in our term “Christian” is supposed to be Jesus, shouldn’t His words and deeds warrant at least some consideration?
Leaders will be held to a higher standard. And for good reason, because people trust them to provide guidance. Jesus and James warned us of this fact. And even though I’m in no way a formal church leader, that truth terrifies me. Because I know people do look to me to represent Christ, I recognize that I am a leader. And I have been complicit for far too long with a bastardization of Christ’s love.
As Christians, we should be outraged that prayer has been coopted to mean inaction in the face of tragedy. Our lack of outrage means we have no right to be surprised when people discount prayer and scoff at it when we offer it in response to other situations. We have allowed this to happen.
Our world is full of double-speak terms, where we politicize our words to make them sound better than they are. So I think it’s important to really consider our vocabulary from time to time and evaluate if it lines up with the meaning it seems to claim. I did that a little bit earlier this …
I was wrong. Those three words seem so hard to say at first, but the more you say them the more freeing it becomes. Looking back, I recognize that I was trapped in a very pessimistic view of the world and my faith, always ready to throw stones. I’m glad I was wrong. Because it means we have hope for the future.
Life can be really challenging. I’ve had several reminders of that recently. But I’m thankful that I’m not alone. And I want to make sure others know that they, too, are not alone.