Order and chaos

What God started with.

What God started with.

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.

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13 Responses to Order and chaos

  1. Markus says:

    Frankly, I appreciated your bold “Get used to it!” comment. I’m not into baseball at all, but you are passionate about it, and I don’t see why you should hide this particular passion. But then, your wife knows you better and if she feels the need to temper your passion then it is wise for you to listen.

  2. sarah says:

    And the Bible does begin with “In the Big Inning…”

  3. David Votaw says:

    Baseball fans understand the imagery of creation you cited in your fourth paragraph. “In the beginning, in Genesis 1, it says the earth was formless and void.” Baseball folk prefer to say about the start of creation… In the “big-inning” David in California

  4. Carole in Midland says:

    I think we can ALL use a good “get used to it” now and again, John. Reminds us that we are not the end all to end all we sometimes act as if we were. We all have a tendency to want to be the center of our own universe and “get used to it” is a fitting reminder that we are the spokes, not the hub, that we are not designed to BE the hub, and will break under the pressure if we TRY to be the hub, and that we darn well better, well – get used to it. In FACT, I am taking that phrase as a perfectly good response to the whiny email I sent you the other night… albeit you did ASK for it – TWICE, if I remember correctly! 🙂 You know how it is, John, sometimes we spokes get a little bent out of shape, and until we get straightened out, we can cause the whole wheel to be a little “wompyjawed.”

  5. Tad Wisenor says:

    Bring on more baseball talk! A separate blog would be great. And if you haven’t yet read “Baseball as a Road to God,” you might enjoy it. http://www.amazon.com/Baseball-Road-God-Seeing-Beyond/dp/1592407544

  6. Nancy L Bainbridge says:

    That’s okay. I wasn’t offended by your comment yesterday, as I didn’t read the post. When I see your posts are about baseball, I usually do not read them. I’m just not interested in baseball. I hope that doesn’t offend you. 🙂

    • jwfisch says:

      There you go. That’s why we’re creating something else for the baseball lovers. True, you weren’t offended, but you weren’t benefited by it either. Marti was right.

  7. Peter Rowe says:

    Hi John
    I wasn’t offended by your baseball references, like others, I just quit reading since I have no understanding of your metaphors. I do like your explanation of the game in terms of chaos.

  8. Couldn’t decide whether to attach the following quote to this post or the more recent “Cool Cathedral”. In either case, though, it seems applicable:
    “Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand” – Leo Durocher.

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