Today is Opening Day of the 2020 baseball season. The Commissioner of Baseball, Rob Manfred, published a letter this morning to all baseball fans that reads: “Opening Day holds an important place in our hearts. It signifies the arrival of spring, the promise of new beginnings, the return of following your favorite team on a long journey filled with twists and turns, and the hope that your team will put together a magical season you will remember forever.” Then he calls on us all to channel that optimism and determination into facing the challenges presented to us by the current pandemic.
Baseball: a game where one team tries to hit the ball where its going to make it difficult for someone on the other team to get it, and the other team’s job is to track the ball down and get it under control as soon as possible. I watched and played baseball for years before I heard this definition and realized that it really does explain the whole crux of the game. It’s all about losing and regaining control.
Probably the best part about all this altering of our lifestyle is that it has shown us that we are not in control as much as we thought we were. I had my spring training weekend set up for months in advance. I got my tickets in December. I made my room reservations in January. I was set; and there wasn’t a day that went by when I didn’t think about that weekend coming up and smile inside. Two days prior to leaving on my road trip, the games canceled. Then the hotel shut down. Then my favorite restaurants closed. And I can’t control any of that.
It’s humbling. It’s disconcerting. I feel uneasy. My world is out of sorts. Things are not where they’re supposed to be. I feel like that ball is in slow motion bouncing around in the right field corner and I just can’t grab it.
Right now I’m sitting in my car outside of a Starbucks. I just got out of a doctor’s appointment and on a normal day, I would get a table at the nearest Starbucks and finish my Catch to get it off as soon as possible. So I got as close as I could get. I waited behind 15 cars in the drive thru line for 10 minutes in order to get my grande nonfat latte and classic coffee cake and pull into a spot in the parking lot where I can still pick up the wifi and a little piece of normal.
Here’s the good thing about feeling out of control: we are not in control anyway. We only think we are. Instead of saying, “We’ll do this and we’ll do that,” we should say instead, “If the Lord wills we’ll do this or that or go here or there,” because He is the One in charge, and it’s most important that we remember that now more than ever.