This Catch will begin with an apology. My “get used to it” comment in yesterday’s Catch towards those who, like my wife, do not like baseball, was rude and insensitive. My wife was offended, so I am sure there were others. So please forgive me for my arrogance. It’s my desire to communicate with everyone, not just baseball lovers.
Besides, Marti has come up with a great idea: we’ll create something like a baseball corner where I can write to my heart’s content about the game — get out all my latent sports-writing talents — for those who wish to read it. We don’t have as yet a format for this, but I love the idea, and would, in fact, welcome your comments as to whether you’d be interested, and how you might prefer to access it.
With one exception. Sometimes there is a metaphor in the game that sheds light on a universal truth that I think everyone will benefit from, and in those cases, I may include something about the game in a regular Catch. And today, as a matter of fact, is one of those cases.
In the beginning, in Genesis 1, it says the earth was formless and void. The Living Bible Paraphrase calls it “a shapeless, chaotic mass.” And to that chaos, God brought order, one day at a time. He brought light; He separated the light from the darkness; then He separated land from the water and the air above it; then He started filling the land, the water and the air with living beings; then He created man and woman in His image, put us in the world and gave us the job of maintaining order. In other words, He brought order to the chaos.
Someone has explained the game of baseball as one guy from one team with a bat, and his or her job is to create chaos with the ball that is thrown up to the plate, and the job of the nine players on the other team is to restore order with the least amount of damage done (“damage” being runners on the bases who try to advance as far as they can while the other team is establishing order). It’s a simple but brilliant understanding of the game that I had never thought of.
And so, the point? As we can see from Genesis, God did that very thing when He created the world and put us in it. But that’s just creation. The earth is spinning, and we are on it, and chaos has once again been let loose in the form of evil that God, for some reason not completely known to us, allowed in, and it is His job (and to a great extent, ours, as His servants) to re-establish order. For instance, we each have chaos in our own lives that we are attempting to put in order. And we help others with this; for example, we are currently helping a homeless couple manage the chaos in their lives. We are all doing something to try and bring order to the pain, suffering, poverty, hunger, and injustice in the world. In so doing, we are doing the Lord’s work.
And here is the good news for all of us: God is ultimately going to come back and establish order out of this mess once and for all with a new heaven and a new earth and new bodies for us that will serve Him without any sign of evil or chaos.
So, you see, we and God have been playing baseball all along — it’s just that it’s not a game. It’s for real. And knowing that God is in control, and is bringing order to this mess, should give us hope.