I didn’t stay up last night to see David Freese’s 11th inning game winning home run get the St Louis Cardinals into the 7th game of the World Series. But I read the news this morning of what must have been baseball at its best.
Was also interested in after the game comments by Cardinal Lance Berkman who went 3 for 4 for the night, scored three runs, and got a game saving hit in the 10th inning– with 2 strikes and two outs. According to a Washington Post article, Berkman said of the pressure of such a moment, “I’m definitely not loose, I don’t think this is fun…It’s obviously fun when you win, but going into the game it’s not fun. It’s not fun to go up there with a season on the line.”
I don’t know much about Berkman, but was interested in another quote that I think we can all identify with. Talking again about the pressure, he said he prayed, not for “hits and stuff” but for a “calmness and an ability to compete, because I think that’s all you can ask for.”
In our last couple of conversations we’ve been talking about a different kind of competition, a struggle that is not with flesh and blood but with spiritual enemies. Yet in the heat and pressure of this more important battle, there is a parallel to Berkman’s field-wisdom. Our best prayers are probably not to get the immediate results we want, but rather to experience the right kind of spirit.
Paul seemed to come to that point after discovering that God was going to let Satan continue to harass him. After asking three times for an unidentified “thorn in the flesh” to be removed, he found peace (if not physical comfort) in the assurance that experiencing God’s grace in the middle of his pain was more important than the relief he wanted (2Cor 12:7-9).
No, none of us wants to pray for trouble. I don’t think we should. But would any of us choose to win a devil-free life if it meant losing an opportunity to compete/experience the “game” and grace of God in the process?
“Game” probably isn’t the right word. But I think you know what I mean :-)…