I'm writing tonight while watching the opening game of the World Series. I don't know why I am watching it since MY team was eliminated in the earliest stages of the playoffs, but it's baseball and it's the World Series, and something about the event causes me to show some support for the game that has meant so much to our country.
My earliest remembrance of baseball was in my early childhood when my dad and a bunch of guys that just wanted to play ball, played at the old Cole Park in Midland. We always enjoyed going to the park and getting to see the games. Then, Midland's own version of the "green monster" was the old wooden constructed ballpark that was just down the street from our house. We thought we had made it big when dad would take us to a game, and it was still exciting when we couldn't buy a ticket, but got to watch the game by looking over the outfield fence.
Then in Little League days, baseball was always an exciting time. I never made it to the A team but playing on the B team each year was fun. Baseball was an exciting pastime and all the guys seemed to be interested in playing.
Saturday afternoons were spent in front of the black and white TV watching the Game of the Week. At our house there were usually two boys laying in the floor watching the game and dad was in the recliner while we watched some of the baseball greats. Those Saturday games featured Dizzy Dean and Peewee Reese as the commentators and they always made the games interesting and exciting.
Baseball is a part of America and her heritage. It was grouped with hot dogs and apple pie in the phrase of the things which America is all about. Sometime later, that phrase was picked up by some advertising agency and Chevrolet, by virtue of the jingle that accompanied their advertising, led us to believe nothing could be more American than baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.
You may think I am reminiscing only of days gone by, but all of those basics are still around today. True, there are new Chevys that come out every year, but the roots go deep into the core of our country and the traditions and a lifestyle that was much more simple than today.
The same can be said of our spiritual heritage, too. Prayer, worship, evangelism, and missions have always been the core of our existence as churches. Whatever we engaged ourselves in back in those days, there was also a spiritual influence that was associated. I swell with pride in our country when the National Anthem is played before each game, and again now that "God Bless America" has been added to baseball's seventh inning stretch.
I am always ready for progress and moving forward, but consider with me the possibility that some of the things we have left behind, need to be brought to the forefront again. Things like baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. And things like prayer and Bible reading, and listening to sermons, and telling our neighbor about the good news of the gospel. Maybe.....just maybe, the things that brought solidarity to our country and unity in our spirituality, could do it again.