Just a little over a week ago Katelyn and I were able go, last minute, to a Cincinnati Reds playoff game. Stub Hub had tickets that were the same price as a movie ticket, so it seemed crazy to pass them up. Especially when considering we’ve never been to a playoff game and it was Game 5 against the Giants, a final do or die game. All year the Reds had been a great team, boasting the best home record in baseball, while also never losing 3 games in a row on their home field. So in this best of 5 series, the Reds won the first two games in San Francisco and were now home to play 3 straight games, only needing to win one of them to seal the deal.
Coming into the whole experience, it was exciting to think we could see a very rare accomplishment happen among over 40,000 other fans. I also have to admit that at the same time, I was very aware of the high risk high reward situation we were in. This was going to be the biggest win of the year or the worst loss, no middle ground.
Throughout the whole game, basically every time that something didn’t go our way, the energy just left the stadium. It was amazing how a single hit could silence an entire stadium that was made up of 98% of Reds fans. It seemed as if everyone was thinking, “Here we go, I knew this would happen.” Or, “Of course the Reds would be the first ones to lose 3 home games in a row…” The players themselves were fighting hard and playing hard, but towards the end their body language definitely looked defeated as well. It is easy to look down on that whole scene…but can I say I’d respond differently 100% of the time? Not a chance.
After thinking about all of this, I also got to thinking about how as Christians we can be guilty of the same thing. When things aren’t looking on the up and up we can get down on ourselves or the church in general. We are imperfect people and since the Church is made up of forgiven, imperfect people, there will be reason to be discouraged at times. Having said that, I was very recently reminded that the Church was established by God and he sent the Holy Spirit to empower us to be who we were created to be. If that’s really the case, then we should have some swag! Knowing that the Spirit is living in us, if you are a follower of Jesus, should give us a healthy confidence to accomplish the mission. This purpose is to spread the hope and love found in Christ to our families and communities.
When the creator of the universe is on our side and he has given us power through his Spirit to be an encouragement to others, we should expect to win! I think this lack of trust and confidence that we have in God and in ourselves causes us to not reach our full potential too often. I’d love to hear what you guys think about it!