by Joe Terry, Elder
In Chicago, I played a lot of baseball as a kid. In fact, I loved baseball and so did my dad. Growing up I had two younger sisters who often thought that I (as the first born and only son) could get away with “murder” with my dad if I could turn a situation to baseball. For example, I was frequently late for supper and this fact upset my dad; until I mentioned in answer to one of his questions of why I was late that I had “three hits in four at bats” today. My sisters would groan knowing that baseball had once again taken charge!
I was also a Chicago Cubs fan. Long before their first World Series victory in 2016, the Cubs were terrible. Yet, both my dad and I loved them and loved especially, Ernie Banks. Ernie was a forever positive, power hitting shortstop who won back-to-back Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards in 1958 and 1959 on a team that was always at or close to the bottom of the National League. Ernie became known as “Mr. Cub.” When interviewed and asked how he felt that day he would say “Let’s play two!” (i.e., I love baseball so much that I want to play a doubleheader (two games in a row)).
Recently, I’ve been reading a book on baseball devotions (“Playing with Purpose”) by Paul Kent. He featured Ernie Banks in a devotion and asked a pointed question: “If Ernie Banks could be so happy on a perpetually bad ball club, shouldn’t we as Christians have even more joy in our daily lives?” A part of me hates questions like this because I know the right answer and yet I often don’t act it out. The right answer is “of course I should have even more joy.” In fact, Psalms 118:24 says “This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Yet, I often don’t rejoice in the day the Lord has given me. On those days, I need to go to Psalms 118:24 and seek what pleases the Lord. I need to take on an attitude similar to Ernie Banks, who said “Let’s play two!” Rejoice in the Lord today . . . it pleases our Lord and Savior when we do!