Feel-good baseball…

Ah! There’s nothing like a win to flush away the Freaky Friday memories of the past two weeks–and our boys can count three of ’em this past week. Three wins in three games–and it feels good! Last Monday, my son took the mound, pitched all seven innings, earned twelve strike-outs (!), walked just two batters, and got the big “W” by his name. On Tuesday, the team played a public high school, was down by five in inning seven, and came from behind to win with runs driven in by the youngest member of the team. The boys finished off the week with a mercy ruling (in their favor) on Thursday.

Winning! It’s all good. From the looks of them, you’d know this team likes winning. All smiles, shoulders held high, exuding confidence. I like it too.

So it bothers me that if you do an online search for “winning,” you don’t get these winners, who simply show pure joy at their accomplishments as a team. You get Charlie Sheen and his bizarre on-camera tirade of a year ago after  his even more bizarre off-camera (or so I hope) escapades that made national news. The actor seems to have redefined winning and made it his claim to fame. “Winning–what CHARLIE SHEEN is,” is how the Urban Dictionary defines the term.

The funny thing about Charlie Sheen and his “winning” claims are that his speeches came just as he suffered a great loss in his career–which, if you think about it, is what we Christians are supposed to claim too.

The Bible says in Mark 8:35 that “… whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” So, when we willingly lose (or lay down our lives) for Christ, we win.

I know the Bible says that God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise–so maybe we could see past Sheen’s foolish tirade and grasp the wisdom of winning by losing? OK, probably not. He may have been foolish, but he wasn’t willingly laying down his career to save his soul. (But you did get an inside look at an English teacher’s stream-of-consciousness attempt to get a Christ figure out of a bizarre story. Fellow teachers, can I hear an “Amen!”?)

I think God likes winning–not Sheen’s imagined winning–but winning as a result of giving our all–our heart, soul, maximum effort– into it because He wants us to play for him. In fact, I think when we do everything as if we were doing it for Him and for His glory, we are winning.

But like my son’s baseball team knows, it sure is nice when the scoreboard demonstrates the win as well.

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