Friday, May 7, 2010

On Faith and Baseball

There was one year that I tried to play fantasy baseball. That crap is dumb. First of all, there are too many players and they play too often--you can't keep track. Second of all, you can't tell if players are doing well because their numbers are so low. A good game is like 3 hits or something. If 3 is the highest number that you get to see on a given day, then count me out. That's not exciting at all.
But I think the real reason I hated fantasy baseball is because I didn't really know much about baseball. I know some Giants players and I know that I hate the Yankees. I also know that Tim Lincecum is raw and he smokes pot and that I like him for those reasons, but that's really about it. So I updated my fantasy baseball roster for about 3 weeks until I realized that it was useless. If I really wanted to get excited about fantasy baseball the way I do about basketball, then I would have to do tons of research and study on all the baseball players so that I would know what I was doing. Needless to say, I did not put in that effort. Bottom line, fantasy baseball sucks.

And really, I sense a similar theme in my faith. It's frustrating sometimes. I look at the Scriptures and I see a very one-sided image of faith. When Jesus describes what the Kingdom is like, he is clear about how to enter: it's an all-or-nothing kind of deal. Again and again I only see that Jesus wants followers who have left everything for his sake. There is no middle ground, no indecision, no going back and forth. You cannot simply dip your toes into the water, you gotta dive into it headfirst.
And that scares the hell out of me. And maybe it's supposed to. Or maybe it's supposed to scare the heaven into me. Regardless, sometimes I wonder if my current struggles with faith are only a result of my middle-ground-ness. That as I am dipping my toes into the Living Water, I am only doing a disservice to myself. Either I dive in, or I go completely back on land. Maybe this is why Jesus gets so mad about people being lukewarm--it just doesn't do anyone any good.
I think my faith is like fantasy baseball. I simply cannot invest myself entirely into it. It is not natural for me. If I want to truly experience the real joy of fantasy baseball--the full life that Jesus promises--then I have to go all in. There is no other way.
I remind myself that it is a process. I know it is. The disciples, even after following Jesus for a couple years, were still greedy sometimes, jealous too, and a few turned their backs on Jesus at times. I find comfort in how stupid the disciples were. Yet they had one thing going for them the whole time--they had left everything behind to follow Jesus. Even if they were dumb sometimes, they had nonetheless taken that first extraordinary step of faith, leaving behind house, family, money, possessions to follow Jesus.
Sigh. Sometimes I wonder if we're doing faith all wrong. I look at the Word and see one picture of discipleship. The first step always seems to be getting rid of all or most of your possessions. That's the first step! He told his disciples to do it, he told the rich young ruler to do it, Zaccheus did it, he told the church in Laodicea to do it... sometimes I wonder if I'm only running in place because I haven't taken that first step yet. Dang that sentence was deep.
Well, I'm getting too serious now. Bottom line, fantasy baseball sucks.


Anonymous said...

my favorite part was. "And that scares the hell out of me. And maybe it's supposed to. Or maybe it's supposed to scare the heaven into me."

oh and remember that daycamp song that went "deep deep oh deep down down. deep down in my heart i love my jesus." i think the lyrics said deeep down for a reason. not kinda sorta love my jesus. right?

k gluck with finals nate!

timmay said...

You say "Bottom line, fantasy baseball sucks." twice. I found that funny. =) Whats more is that fantasy baseball was what started the idea of fantasy sports in general. They have all those variables and possibilities because baseball is a passion for many.

I think the gospel would say something close to the same thing. Take something (or someone) you hate and making it into something (or someone) you love.