Saturday, August 27, 2011

Surprise God Sighting

The first word that comes to mind is simply…WOW! 

Over the course of the last few weeks, our country has been blessed by a phenomenon that quietly comes and goes this time each year.  No…it’s not summer.  Believe it or not, this amazing, life imparting experience is…the World Series of Little League Baseball!

Now you might be experiencing a bit of let down as you ponder the significance of how 11 and 12 year olds playing baseball could possibly impact our country.  But, what I’ve seen these past few weeks has actually restored my belief in people, in family, and in our next generation…all to the glory of God!

16 teams from all over the world have collided in Williamsport, Pennsylvania to compete for the title of Little League World Champs!  Yet, different from our adult professional ranks, these young people haven’t been tainted by big contracts, high profile egos, or high profit endorsement deals.  No…these young men simply love the purity of the game!

But this message isn’t about baseball nor even the fun these young men are having.  Instead, it’s about what they’re teaching the world…but only if it’s paying attention.  Today, I’m watching two teams play each other for the United States Championship.  One is from Huntington Beach, CA and the other from Billings, Montana.  These two teams first met at the Regional Tournament in San Bernardino a few weeks ago.  They shared a dorm together there and became quick friends, initially brought together by their love of baseball, now bound by their love for each other.  Two nights ago, Montana beat California.  One would expect to see high emotion, tears, and even poor attitudes.  Yet to my amazement, the Montana team never thumbed their noses in poor victory.  And the California team actually smiled, cheered, tipped their caps, shook hands and even celebrated their friends…even at their own expense!

And now, as I write this, California has just returned the favor and defeated Montana and will face Japan for the Little League World Championship tomorrow.  Yet, with the reality of their run at a title being over, the young men from Montana are smiling, cheering, tipping their caps, and shaking the hands of their friends…even at their own expense.

These young boys are showing themselves to be mighty men!  While only one team will win the title, all of these young men seem to be winning character!

The lesson for us all is two-fold…

  1. Imagine what it might be like if Republicans and Democrats remembered what it was like to play for the “love of the game” and our country instead of their own control over it.  Could you imagine the powerful message that would be sent if on election night, the losing team tipped their caps and cheered for their friends…even at their own expense?  Now I know comparing the pressure and responsibility of government to little league baseball is naïve.  But what about comparing the spirit which drives the “players”?

  1. Imagine what it might be like if we, the followers of Jesus, remembered what it was like to have just been saved from hell and, in it’s place, redeemed by our loving Savior.  Could you imagine the powerful message that would be sent if we walked through the world with a spirit of relief and thanksgiving, celebrating the blessings and favor God may be bestowing on others…even in the midst of our own trials?  Now I know that comparing our life circumstances to little league baseball is also naïve.  But what about comparing the worldly spirit that drives their attitude to the Holy Spirit that should be driving ours?

Again, I simply say WOW!  Thank you Little Leaguers for showing me a small example of what the Church should be showing every day!  Through something as quietly passing as the Little League World Series, God spoke very loudly and called me to pay attention to how I play the “game” that He’s saved me for!

Little League World Series 2011 Website


-Michael White

1 comment:

  1. Mike, I love the analogy. If only the powers that be, would stop for a moment, check their egos at the door and step back and think about the common good....