Things I Learned from the Braves

I know it’s been a while. I have no good excuse except that I have been busy/ distracted. A lot of things have happened that I hope to blog about later. At this time, I would like to relay some things I learned last night, and it all came from a heartbreaking loss in Game 3 of the NLDS.

It is no secret how big of a fan I am of the Braves. Though they sometimes frustrate me, I will never not be a fan. Despite losses that break the hearts of every person in Braves Country, I know that it is a game and that there is always next year. I think I want them to win big this year for several reasons. It’s Bobby’s last year. We’ve come from behind to clinch it so many times. We’ve suffered a lot of injuries of key players late in the season, and we still somehow manage to fight back.

As I was watching Game 3 go down the toilet, I felt the need to get angry at that one player who seemed to forget the fundamentals of baseball. It was so easy to get caught up in the moment and groan as the ball dropped or went through his legs.

Feeling pain just looking at the heartbroken Brave, Brooks Conrad. I hope he finds healing.

I came home frustrated, and then I read something on Twitter that broke my heart. It broke my heart because it reminded me that we’re all human. It is the unfortunate human condition to make mistakes and to put the blame on the person making them. Here’s what I read from pitcher Tim Hudson:

We love him [Conrad] more now than ever.

That one little line forced me to look back on those plays and see the anguish in Brooks Conrad’s eyes. Despite Braves fans screaming and booing at him, THE Braves didn’t give up on him. They encouraged him, and Conrad is quoted as saying that he isn’t going to ask for a day off. (He’s also quoted as saying that he wanted to dig a hole somewhere and sleep in it. Poor thing.) We’ll find out sometime today whether he’s in the lineup. I hope he is. (More on that in a second.)

You see, what happened to Brooks Conrad last night happens to everyone. More than most people have the fortune of not having it on national television. They don’t have hundreds and thousands of people replaying those moments on Instant Replay or booing them because of a mistake. One small mess-up can turn into a chain of events that makes you feel like you’ve screwed up your life and the lives of others around you.

Though some of the fans are mad, the team isn’t mad. They recognize at some point and time every player has a slump. We go from celebrating a walk-off grand slam to bashing that same person for dropping a ball. Yes, it was at a critical time, but haven’t you messed up at a critical time?

Even though God’s love never changes because it is infinite, I liken the way The Braves players reacted to Brooks to the way God reacts when we screw up. I know it’s nowhere near a perfect analogy, but God doesn’t throw his children to the wayside when we mess up. He lovingly shows us where we’ve gone astray and in His infinite grace and mercy He stretches us and molds us to become more like His Son.

Why do I hope to see Conrad in the lineup tonight? It’s a second chance. He might mess up again tonight or he might hit that walk off grand slam. Either way, he’s like us. We, as Christians, live a life of second chances. Don’t let anger get the best of you. Don’t rely on a person or a team for your happiness because they will surely let you down. Rely on God for everything and suddenly the Post Season (or whatever else) becomes a time of fellowship and fun.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

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One Response to Things I Learned from the Braves

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review « everything made beautiful

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