Opening Day


Today is Opening Day of the 2020 baseball season. The Commissioner of Baseball, Rob Manfred, published a letter this morning to all baseball fans that reads: “Opening Day holds an important place in our hearts. It signifies the arrival of spring, the promise of new beginnings, the return of following your favorite team on a long journey filled with twists and turns, and the hope that your team will put together a magical season you will remember forever.” Then he calls on us all to channel that optimism and determination into facing the challenges presented to us by the current pandemic.

Baseball: a game where one team tries to hit the ball where its going to make it difficult for someone on the other team to get it, and the other team’s job is to track the ball down and get it under control as soon as possible. I watched and played baseball for years before I heard this definition and realized that it really does explain the whole crux of the game. It’s all about losing and regaining control.

Probably the best part about all this altering of our lifestyle is that it has shown us that we are not in control as much as we thought we were. I had my spring training weekend set up for months in advance. I got my tickets in December. I made my room reservations in January. I was set; and there wasn’t a day that went by when I didn’t think about that weekend coming up and smile inside. Two days prior to leaving on my road trip, the games canceled. Then the hotel shut down. Then my favorite restaurants closed. And I can’t control any of that.

It’s humbling. It’s disconcerting. I feel uneasy. My world is out of sorts. Things are not where they’re supposed to be. I feel like that ball is in slow motion bouncing around in the right field corner and I just can’t grab it.

Right now I’m sitting in my car outside of a Starbucks. I just got out of a doctor’s appointment and on a normal day, I would get a table at the nearest Starbucks and finish my Catch to get it off as soon as possible. So I got as close as I could get. I waited behind 15 cars in the drive thru line for 10 minutes in order to get my grande nonfat latte and classic coffee cake and pull into a spot in the parking lot where I can still pick up the wifi and a little piece of normal.

Here’s the good thing about feeling out of control: we are not in control anyway. We only think we are. Instead of saying, “We’ll do this and we’ll do that,” we should say instead, “If the Lord wills we’ll do this or that or go here or there,” because He is the One in charge, and it’s most important that we remember that now more than ever. 

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10 Responses to Opening Day

  1. Dennis Lauver says:

    I agree. What i’ve done for about a year is to use the phrase “I plan to…” instead of “I will…” Doesn’t get noticed by others but it is my way to remind myself of the same point you articulated.

  2. Here’s an easy exercise that may lift the spirits of baseball & sports enthusiasts:
    Add to the list below your favorite baseball/sports movie and/or sports-themed song.

    Then, if you can, get yourself some peanuts & crackerjack, grab yourself a “battle-buddy” and watch any or all of the listed films or listen to the songs while hunkered down. It may help pass the time more pleasantly while missing America’s pastime.

    Three great baseball films that came immediately to my mind are:
    Pride of the Yankees
    Damn Yankees
    A League of Their Own

    I know there are many more sports films out there so, please, add to the list!
    (They don’t have to be only about baseball, either.)

    As a source of inspiration, I’d like to share with you the late Kenny Rogers’ touching song about baseball, “The Greatest”:

    EnJOY this day our Lord has made!
    Batter UP!!

    Shalom, Peace…

  3. Mark D Seguin says:

    I imagine it’s a tough day for a lot of Baseball fans. May I please suggest to seriously consider the only thing any of us control is our attitude. Nothing else…

    My two cents…

  4. John A Fagliano says:

    Interesting thing about baseball. It’s the only team sport where the defense has the ball. In football and basketball the offence controls the ball as they try to score. In baseball the offence can only bat the ball around and run but the defense still controls the ball. COVID-19 appears to be batting things everywhere and running like wildfire but God still controls this ball. If we all play our positions (at least 6 feet apart) God will get the side out. Like the leper who said “Lord if it be your will you can heal me” God can strike out the side if he wills to do so. Our job is to be alert and not worry that the next pitch may wind up in the bleachers. Soon enough this inning will end and He will raise us up at the last out. Then it will be our turn to bat and the enemy will have no control!

    John, this baseball illustration was for you especially, but I hope everyone enjoyed it.

    • Mark D Seguin says:

      I know I surely enjoyed reading it! And TY brother John, appreciate it & you!

      • Baseball is the only game where the clock does not dictate when the game is done. You can be behind by 4 touchdowns halfway through the 4th quarter; you know you aren’t going to win.

        I’ve been to a professional baseball game when the home team was done by 9 runs. They came back to win! The class A minor league team in our home town here in Iowa overcame a 16 run deficit to win a game in 2014.

        With God in control, it ain’t over….don’t give up!

  5. Not WHAT but HOW you want to be when you grow up.

    Here’s Steve Hartman’s fourth and final lesson in Kindness 101.
    Today’s class is about: Altruism.
    School is now in session.


  6. Alma Siemens says:

    This is a “wake up” call, isn’t it? When we are aware that our lives are in His capable hands we can take a deep breath and release the stress to Him. He can handle it and bring us through.

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