October Fever and Heartbreak in the Heart of a Pastor

Posted: October 7, 2008 by Rick Hogaboam in From the Heart, Sports
Tags: , ,

Well, my beloved Halos lost tonight in the bottom of the ninth. It was heartbreaking, especially after a leadoff double for the Halos in the top of the ninth, only to lose that runner in a failed squeeze attempt that would have given them the lead and summoned K-Rod in the bottom of the ninth. It was also painful to watch the Red Sox manufacture the winning run with a bloop double and seeing eye single just passed the outstretched glove of second baseman Howie Kendrick. Oh well, there is always next year, but I am still sad.

I was tempted to get angry over the failed squeeze play and realized it would do me no good. I recently read a great article by Keith Olbermann, who I like as a sports analyst, about a baseball play long ago in 1908 that continues to live in infamy (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/magazine/09/23/merkle/index.html), titled “The Goof that Changed the Game”. It pointed out the sad tragedy of how one pastor actually referred to Merkle as a “Bonehead”, which had become his unfortunate nickname. Merkle and his family got up and left the church before the service begun…it served that pastor right.

What is a sports-loving pastor to do when his team fails? What is a sports-loving pastor to do when it is obvious that such failure was due to failed strategy from the manager or a mental error from a player?

1. Dwell on it….let it infest your heart…curse the manager and player. If that player or manager should ever visit your church, then let them painfully remember their blunder and how it disappointed you.

2. Let it go…accept such as the tragic fate in the drama of sports. Sigh, be sad….remind yourself that your joy or sorrow isn’t predicated upon a won or loss in an athletic contest…stop being sad. Move on with life and not be a loser by dwelling on a loss. It is what it is.

I have chosen the wiser path of #2…but in my younger days, I was more inclined towards #1. I thank God that Sports, Baseball, or the Angels aren’t my idol and that I can enjoy the grace of recreation without being bound to it.

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