(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
Now that baseball is back, it’s time to make something of the nature of the sport that has given it longevity as “America’s pastime.” First let’s just think about that — passing time. Doesn’t that sound great right now? Doesn’t that sound like something you’d like to have the luxury to do?
Think about the fact that people would actually pay money for the permission to pass some time. That’s after being forced into our homes to pass time, with no seeming end to it. This is something of a relief — legitimate time passing contained in a span of a few hours bordering on entertainment that conceivably could never end, but always does. Baseball is time. Time to have a hot dog, enjoy some peanuts, chat with the fans around you, watch a lazy fly ball, stand up and actually get excited now and then … that’s what baseball is all about. The things that people who don’t like the sport complain about the most are the very things that make it special. “Too slow,” they always say. Let’s raise a stadium beer to “slow.”
The definition of “pastime” is: “An activity that someone does regularly for enjoyment rather than work.” That we have the luxury to even do that is what makes baseball important and why it will never go away.
Actually baseball is all about control. The team that’s at bat tries to create chaos; the team in the field tries to bring it under control. And in that is a spiritual reality as well. The world may seem like it’s getting more and more out of control, but God will pull it all together in the end. There will be an end to this game. We even know who will win. It’s been promised.
So as long as the world isn’t totally out of control, we will have baseball. Thank God for that. We will watch time pass as the winning team finally gets enough control to end the suffering of the loser, and remember that however chaotic things get in the world, God will do the same.