Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Nationals Are In The World Series

1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amOK – lots of posts on this blog are about significant theological issues. We have written about the United Methodist Church’s policies and doctrines (and we’re praying for General Conference 2020). We have talk about church drama and operation. We have written about grace – peace – assurance – salvation – sin – Jesus – conviction – repentance – and more.

Today I want to focus just a few thoughts on this baseball season – which is down to the World Series (with the Nationals in it to win it). As today’s passage suggests – athletes will strive to achieve victory in their sport. In order to do so – they must practice – workout – and strive every day for their goal. The Nationals and the Astros have been through an off-season – and spring training – and long season and now they are fighting for the World Series title.

My Orioles (my first team – Nats are second) are out of it (they were out of it long ago), I met too coaches from the Orioles a couple of summers ago. They were on a day off during the season and came out to play golf. We talked about the team and about our fighting spirit. The team did not give up that season and they didn’t give up this season. They play it to win it – like most athletes.

The two local teams for us in Maryland – the Nationals (who are playing for the World Series) and the Orioles – are accustomed to winning. They have star athletes (the Nats more than the O’s) and both teams aim each year for the playoffs in October.

How did your team do this year? Who is your favorite current player? Name a current pitcher and a position player you would like to meet (or have met)?

My favorite current position player is Chris Davis – he plays 1st base for the Orioles – and hasn’t played very well the last three years. A young player I like is Anthony Santander. He was a rule 5 pickup and has played himself into a building block for the future with the team. Trey Mancini – is also a favorite and I hope he doesn’t get traded this winter. My favorite pitcher is Dylan Bundy – a starter for the Birds. A close second is John Means – who wasn’t supposed to make the team this year but ended up being our best starter and an All-Star for the team.

Let’s look at today’s passage in partial context. 1 Corinthians 9:24–27 – 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Some teams in history – in various sports – have lost in order to get a better draft position. Some have traded away their good players (Miami Dolphins come to mind) – hoping to get back young players who will make them better in the future through draft picks. The Orioles traded some of their best players for younger players recently that we hope will make us better in the future. They may do this during this winter too. But the goal is normally – to win – to get the prize.

Does this say anything about our faith? Are we trying to be the best we can be for Jesus – now? What are we will to trade off in order to be closer to the person Jesus wants us to be?

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

October 23, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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