Wednesday, September 07, 2005

2,131 Ten Years Later

Now I know that I am getting old. It has been 10 years since number eight trotted around Camden Yards (I never could call it Oriole Park) and single-handedly saved baseball as we know it. I didn't get to see the game live, because ten years ago, September 6 was a Wednesday night. Being a good Baptist, we had prayer meeting and choir rehearsal. I couldn't skip because I was, well, the music minister. They wouldn't cancel the service because they didn't care about Cal Ripken or the Orioles. So I did the next best thing. I taped it. I still have that tape, and I hope Major League Baseball doesn't come after me if I get nostalgic and illegally rebroadcast it on my tv without their "express written consent."

Cal was a throw-back player. He went to work because he had a job to do. Now, I don't buy that the person playing baseball is any greater than the person who works construction all his life. Playing ball might require an entirely different set of skills, but it is a job none-the-less. But imagine, if you will, that you go out to the construction site every day for almost 6 years without a day off. That means you never call in sick, never take a vacation, and get no days off for holidays. This is, in effect, what the iron-man did. And he did it with a spirit of humility. I used to think Rafael Palmeiro was that type, but I have recently been disappointed by him.

Now to the spiritual part of this: How come we have to look to Major League Baseball to find someone who is a hard worker with a humble attitude? Where are the Christian leaders of today who spend themselves in the cause of Christ, asking nothing in return? I could name a few, but I run out of names before I run out of fingers. Oh, that we, who claim to be under-shepherds in Christ's church, would be iron-men, who work hard, never give up, stick it out to the end, and do so with a spirit of humility.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Blogging and the Important Things of Life

Ok, Ok. I have just been informed via cell phone email that I need to update my blog. You know how it is. You have good intentions, but other things take priority. I, fortunately, am not like my fellow-Calvinist friend Bill who can't sleep at night and blogs at three in the morning. I need my rest. I also, unlike my friend Bill, don't sit out on the back deck with my new computer and wireless network and update my blog. Some have special talent, that is not one of mine.

But I will attempt to stay on top of things. One of the things that has caught my attention over the last few day, as I'm sure it has everyone else, is the aftermath of Katrina. (If your name happens to be Katrina, this has no reference to you!) This has been stunning. The loss of life and property is tragic. The helplessness of the people in New Orleans and Alabama, specifically, is sad. The fact that George Bush is being blamed is ludicrous. And the fact that more people aren't saying this is an act of God is concerning.

Please understand, I am not saying that this is a direct punishment of God on any particular sin of any particular people as some have said. Although that case could be made. But I am saying that God is sovereign. Lest we forget who is in charge of the wind and the waves, God every-once-in-a-while shows us how little we are.

It is interesting to me that Isaiah 45 tells us: "That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; 7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.'

God does things every so often to get our attention and put us in our place. We, as Christians, have a responsibility not only to meet the physical needs of the people in these devestated places (especially those of the household of faith), but also to point them to the One who uses these things to show His glory in the earth.