Well, I used to think He was, growing up in the Bronx. When I first became a baseball fan, the hometown Yankees were not only the team to beat; they were almost a sure bet to get into the World Series. It was easy, far too easy, to fall into the trap of confusing human success with God’s plan for the universe. Of course, last fall, when those so-and-sos from Boston usurped the Bronx Bombers’ throne, then I knew that God was no longer in his heaven. Leastwise insofar as He actually might care about baseball.
The full quotation in the title is from a Washington Post story about Baseball Chapel. Baseball Chapel’s stated mission, from their website, is “To bring encouragement to people in the world of professional baseball through the Gospel so that some become discipled followers of Jesus Christ.” The Post story is a nice survey of how that is working for some players and others in the Bigs and in the minors.
The full quotation is from Wayne Beilgard, a chapel leader for the Milwaukee Brewers:
“I get a ton of people saying, ‘Hey, Wayne, you gotta pray harder for the Brewers,’ ” said Wayne Beilgard, chapel leader for the Milwaukee Brewers. “I tell them, ‘God doesn’t choose sides in baseball. God is not a Yankees fan.'”
Wayne Beilgard’s got it exactly right. Not only is God not a Yankees fan, he’s not even a Boston Red Sox fan (sorry, John Kerry…). Which brings into question the entire notion of invoking the Deity in a prayer for the victory of any team over another.
God might prefer one group of sinners (any team; any grouping of mere humans) over another. But He will offer His love in the way that best suits His purposes. The hardest truth of all? Sometimes that means your team should lose, in order that they may be better open to God’s healing power.
God is not human; He does not respond to threats or bribery or cajolery. No amount of praise (or other alternatives to burnt offerings) was going to get Him to let the Yankees win last year over the Red Sox. It simply wasn’t in His cards.
And you’d best believe that the Yankees, and their fans, including yours truly, sorely needed an industrial-sized helping of vitamin “H” for humility.
| technorati tag | Christianity|