The sun throws itself across the entrance to Angels Stadium and dances on our happy faces. A dear friend’s gracious generosity has gifted us with excellent seats for the ball game. We have our red on. We’re ready. The weight of the world can lift for an evening. That’s what games are for. They’re not a diversion as much as they are a respite. Anne and Christopher can appreciate this respite enough to at least humor me with a ball game. Chandler and Marti do not hide their boredom well. They will come when properly coerced by my birthday or Father’s Day, so last night, with two tickets and my daughter’s surprise visit home, Anne was the logical sidekick.
Win or lose, the therapy still works, though winning is noticeably better, and last night, the Angels cooperated with a win. Although this win was a little too close to real life to offer much relief. Nail biting was a requisite. The only run of the entire game came on a double steal. In other words, they stole home. The Angels had seven hits; the Kansas City Royals had one. If you go to the Angels App and click on “game summary,” you get a blank page with the words: “No Scoring Plays.”
It was a cleverly-executed steal. There were Angels on first and third with two outs when the runner on first took off for second base. The Royals’ catcher took the bait and threw to second but the runner intentionally stopped between first and second to put himself in a rundown and avoid being tagged long enough for the runner from third to sneak home. It was one of those well-pitched games on both sides where it was going to take someone to beat the system. The Angels had just enough pieces in place to pull that off.
We feel like we beat the system with Chandler. This wasn’t supposed to happen — his graduation. There’s still some nail biting going on, however, because anything could happen in the next two days. Nothing is a lock with Chandler. But while we were at the game, he was out looking for a new shirt for graduation. So there’s hope.
Free will comes with a price: the hair and nerves of the one in charge. If you want it for yourself, you have to allow it for everyone, but then you have to somehow live with everyone’s decision regardless of whether you like it or not. If you use your free will for the right choice, someone else can just as easily use theirs for the wrong one, and that’s the reality we have to live with.
Like God’s answer to Bruce in the movie Bruce Almighty when Bruce asks Him, “How do you make someone love you without changing free will?” to which God replies, “Welcome to my world.”
God’s world somehow includes our free will, our love and our rejection, and I know that I cannot manage all that. I’m just thankful that God can, and that’s why we can trust Him.