Wednesday, June 30, 2010

College World Series CHAMPIONS to God--How to UNDERSTAND ?

Well, mass excitement and hysteria in my city late last night into today. The Gamecocks, the University of South Carolina's baseball team...won the college World series Championship last night in 11 innings, final score 2 to 1.
First time EVER.
Big hooray going on around here in the capital city, the University is about 3 miles from our house..and Ray Tanner, the  head coach of the team, lives a block and a half around the corner from us. I see him often on my walks, and his young son , who shares my son's name, and his two little girls adore Maxine.
He is very nice and his wife is as well.
So very big ta-do's around the proud as a peacock Capital city in South Carolina. I only stayed up until about 10:30 last night, so tired as I get up very early every day...but my husband , the rabid baseball fan-lover-expert...watched it until midnight. Our son was put to bed at 10:00 PM exhausted too.
We get up this morning to see they won ! I was so happy, my son loves the Gamecocks ( and the Braves ), my husband is the Clemson graduate ( and a die-hard Yankees fan ), and Clemson got eliminated earlier in the series ( which by the way, he was such a GROUCH during that last game I told him I wouldn't watch it anymore with him and got up and left ).
There should be a rule that there is NO GROUCHINESS allowed during baseball games , anywhere.
Anyway, we are all very happy they won...and this morning when I got back from my early walk..I look at my husband ,  as I am drinking a glass of water and say , " So what happened after I went to bed last night ?" referring to the game.
What a DUMB question, as I always know how he will respond.

This is what I hear...this is not what he actually says...this is only what I barely make out with my limited knowledge of baseball.
Pay attention:
He goes, " Well, somebody hit a grounder which bounced or whatever into left field, which caused ( someone else's name, a player ), to make it to third, which in turn...blah-blah , blah-blah, blah-blah, someone got an outside low pitch, that someone else hit. Blah-blah, and then the runner scored something on  a base hit...blah-blah-blah. , they won because the relief pitcher made a good pitch etc.-etc.-etc.....but some other player's name ( he knows everyone's name, which men always call each other by their last name in sports ), and further blah-blah-blah " was coming out of his mouth that I was truthfully lost from the first sentence he said.
I think my eyes even started glazing over.
As usual.
I told  him to stop, that he lost me.
He just smiles and walks away. He is used to me not following these long baseball play by plays.

I will explain that I love to watch baseball, but I am so far from an expert at knowing what every play is , and the history, and the stats...that I can get lost very easily when I hear my husband start rambling even about a game that happened 25 years ago and he recalls everything.
He can't recall what I think is romantic, but he can remember old baseball stats...but that is another topic.
I simply enjoy watching the games, and learning slowly about the sport.
I only watch baseball, I am not into any other sports.

The point or interesting parallel I made after our conversation was, how seasoned Christians can overwhelm, intimidate, and blow away younger ( not in age, in knowledge ), new believers about Christianity and God and the Bible.
Like me trying very hard to understand my husband, I was very interested in what he had to say...but became lost and overwhelmed with the minutia that he related to me. I thought of trying to explain the complexities of Christianity to an unbeliever, or a new believer...and how there is no way for them to grasp everything quickly or easily. And how easy it is to ' blow them off ' with doctrine , my more advanced knowledge ( which is not much at all...just an example ),  prayers ( so many older Christians scare young ones with long , laborious prayers ), protocol in church , moral scripture quotes, conversations that are very  full of scripture , language in general conversations that includes lots of hallelujahs , Praise God  salutations, and Be washed in the blood quotes... etc. 
It can leave newer believers, and even ones not as advanced in their knowledge , feeling inadequate and lost and out of place.
It made me realize even more to be very gentle and less judgmental with their ( new believers ) or struggling Christians  efforts towards the goal of knowing God better, and having Him be in their lives.
I am not saying that believers do not need to know scripture , or the Bible better, or follow guidelines and commandments from God.
Just that we need to take it slow and easy with others , never be a wall they run into that hinders their understanding.

Jesus loved to preach simply, very direct, and he often sprinkled his lessons with parables. He did quote scripture often...and he was over-flowing with kindness and compassion.
If He needed to be confrontational, He was. When He spoke to a non-believer, he spoke simply about their problem and a solution. He knows we are all really ' babes ' in this world.

I love how God reminds me to remember that He considers us His children.

Hope your day is really good, hope we are all more gentle with each other, demonstrating love,

 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  Matthew 19:14


  1. Hi Gina,

    Congratulations to you and your town for their win. It must mean even more because you know the coach and his family.

    I was reminded at how the Gentiles were intimidated by the Jewish Christians as they first joined the Christian faith by what you wrote. It is a very good lesson that all Chrisitans need to remember as they welcome new Christians.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  2. Congrats on the win, Gina. Love the pic in the sidebar with the hydrangea flowers in your hair!

    I feel the same way, with my eyes glazing over, when my husband the physicist starts explaining to me some detail of the science of the origins of the universe. My brain feels like it's melting. ;)

    As for spiritual understanding, it's always so good to remember we are all on our own paths and could never be in a position to judge anybody else's progress. :)

  3. I'm in South Carolina, too and my split (Clemson/Cocks) family may be on the verge of a feud. :)


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