I don’t know if you follow the Nationals like I do, who this year have been a reminder of the observation that baseball can break your heart. Their play hasn’t been consistent: they leave men on base; they don’t get the hits they need; they make Little League quality throwing and catching errors; and their pitchers oscillate between brilliance and throwing gopher balls at the worst possible time. Still, I’m a loyal home town fan and have suffered through this summer. It’s not as bad as a couple of years ago when I was happy that they didn’t finish in last place.
I probably agonize a little too much about a game in which the Nats lead by six runs for most of the game and then fritter the lead away by a series of bonehead plays. Then it’s tied up, and they go into extra innings. Sometimes they pull it out; other times they lose, generally to the Braves, who have owned them this year. I shouldn’t get so emotionally involved, but it makes me sad when they lose. Conversely, there’s a spring in my step and a song in my heart the next day when they win. I know, I’m extremely lame.
Last week, the Nats won in satisfying fashion, coming from behind to take the game at the last minute. The station rebroadcasts the game the next day, and since I heard the last inning on the radio (I forget why—I think I was driving somewhere), I watched the last couple of innings of the replay to see what happened. I was the picture of serenity. I knew what was going to happen, so I didn’t worry and I was happy!
It occurred to me that this experience is something like the life of faith. God knows all and sees all, and so we need not worry about the outcome of whatever is troubling us. Scripture tells us that the great conflict between good and evil has already been won and that the victory has been won. We can live our lives with this great assurance. As Jesus says, “Be of good hope! I have overcome the world!” Thanks be to God for this great comfort for those who are his children.