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Friday, June 23, 2006



Baseball Family "Religion"

It was the last game of the regular baseball season for our son's fifth/sixth grade team, the Braves. The boys arrived at a secluded school hidden in the valley, home of the undefeated team. A gentle breeze blew on the warm, humid evening, and I felt the presence of God around me.

The Braves had already lost once to Gill, as had all the other teams, so this game brought both anticipation and trepidation.

It took the first few innings for both teams to warm up and get a feel for how each other played. Gill snuck in two runs when I wasn't looking due to a squirmy baby. Then in the middle of the 4th (I think--it's hard to keep track when innings aren't posted), the Braves hit the beginning of a streak. They stole bases like there was no tomorrow and ran in a few to home base.

My son came to bat. Despite hitting against a kid who would have normally been a seventh grader this past year, he kept getting a piece of the ball with foul after foul before the pitcher eventually walked him. He made the forth run of that inning.

The Braves went on to finish the game 5-2 with an overall season score of 8-2. The undefeated team is undefeated no more!

The next game is a playoff. They will once again be back at Gill this coming Tuesday evening. If they win, they'll advance. My son is hoping things will happen similar to how they happened two years ago the last time he was able to play ball.

"It's become like a family religion," he said on the ride home.

"Huh? How do you figure?" I responded.

"Well the same thing happened two years ago with the American Legion."

Despite entering the game disheartened because they thought of that undefeated American Legion team as invincible, they beat them, winning the championship. He's seen that all his baseball teams, albeit only two so far--each one in a different league, have had the distinction of being the teams that break the undefeated team's perfect record.

I think he's confusing family religion with family tradition, but I find the correlation amusing. And interesting because he related it to God. After all, God was there, and I did pray the entire game. (Pray as in silent conversation with God, not as in on my knees reciting formulas.)

I have to say, I did pray the other team would lose because I know how important it was for my son's team to lose a couple of games. Sure, being undefeated is nice, but losing a few is good for the soul. It curbs pride and makes you stronger because you have to persevere.

So, does that mean I should pray our team will lose the next game?

Naw. I'll pray God choose the championship team, yet putting in a good word for ours because winning is good for the soul, too! :)

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