About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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A Game Of Failures


If you are a baseball fan, as I have been since 1978, you have probably experienced more times of frustration than times of joyous celebration, and why?  As it has often been said, "baseball is a game of failures."          


If a batter only gets a base hit just 30% of his at bats, he is considered a good batter.  Only 42 players in Major League Baseball history have succeeded in getting base hits more than 40% of their at bats.  The last time that happened was in 1948.     


When a pitcher fails to pitch perfect games, yet still only gives up two runs per nine innings over the span of a season, he is considered an ace.  Over the last 154 years of MLB history, more than 235,500 games, there have only been 24 perfectly pitched games.   


As of August 6, 2023, only two MLB baseball teams out of thirty teams have won 60% or more of their games.  The most winning team in MLB history was the 1906 Chicago Cubs.  They won 76.3 % of their games and lost 23.7% of the time.   


Failure is fundamental to baseball, and I'm sorry to remind you, it's fundamental to life.  We win some and we loose some.  Don Henley reminded us of this in his song entitled "The Cost Of Living," from his Cass County album released in 2015.  "It's (failure) the cost of living and everyone pays."  Failure is the price we have been paying since the events recorded in Genesis 3, and living the Christian life does not void that cost.    


I'm neither an optimist nor a pessimist.  I view myself as a realist.  Life's failures neither depress me nor defeat me.  The Holy Spirit helps me leave yesterday's failure behind so I can move on to today's hopeful win.  Then, when the Body of Christ works as it should, I find support from my team of brothers and sisters in Jesus.     


Even the best baseball players get frustrated and discouraged at times, yet underlying those negative emotions is a winning attitude.  As it is also often said, "today is a new day and a new game."  In other words, yesterday must never spoil today.      


From 2001 to 2017 only 20% of baseball prospects have made it to the major leagues.  Yes, baseball is a game of failure, but in the end, someone always wins.  That's why avid fans say that there's always next year after their team fails to make the post season.     


The apostle Paul endured many struggles that some might consider failures, but he fought the good fight of faith until the bitter end (2 Timothy 4:7).  The bitter end came for Paul when his head fell to the ground in a pool of blood after being sliced from his shoulders by a Roman sword.  I believe that Paul viewed this apparent loss as his ultimate win.           


Life is full of failures, but as a Christian, I will win in the end.  Until then, yesterday's loss will not nullify today's possible win.    


Post Script

As with baseball, consistent failure demands a change of strategy.  Also as with baseball, you are never without some victories.    


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