Cub fans like to complain about the curse placed on them in 1945 by a tavern owner who wasn’t allowed to bring his pet goat into Wrigley Field. That game turned out to be the last World Series the Cubs ever played.
This past week, the Cubs were five outs from their first World Series in 58 years when Cub’s fan Steve Bartman reached up from his seat to catch a fly ball away from outfielder Moises Alou. . (For the benefit of non-baseball fans, Moises is the overpaid guy wearing a baseball uniform and a glove. He’s supposed to catch it. Steve was not.) Demoralized from this fiasco, the Cubs blew a 3-0 lead and lost 8-3.
No you haven’t stumbled into the sports column – this is still “Spirituality in Everyday Life,” but how can you get more “everyday” than a baseball game?
In this everyday event, Steve Bartman, an everyday Little League coach, makes a leap of faith and comes down with a once-in-several-lifetimes catch, and now a wildfire of criticisms threatens to burn down his field of dreams.
Here’s a guy who reached for a fly ball expecting to catch his dream, but instead caught his nightmare — leaving the park accompanied by security guards. This isn’t just having your parade rained on; it’s having your parade nuked.
Nevertheless, here’s a guy who decides to reach out and see what he can catch. You’ve got to give him points for bravery. How many of us sit in the cheap seats of life moaning about how the game of life is going, and never bother to reach for anything new?
As a minor fan of this major league sport, I’d have to say that the sad thing is not that the Cubs lost the game, and then the Series; I think the sad thing is that the next night when another ball came toward the same stands, everyone retracted their gloves while others restrained the uninformed.
“Don’t put your glove out,” was the message by the restrainers. “You can’t do that. What if you catch a nightmare or worse yet, what if your dream curses our dream?”
That kind of careful playing is not something rewarded by scripture.
Jesus told a parable of three men whose master entrusted them with a small fortune to invest. The first risked it all and doubled his master’s money. The second man did the same.
But, in fear of his master, the third, buried the treasure so that it would be safe on his return. Jesus went on to warn his disciples that those who go through life seeking to remain uninvolved in the risk of living run the risk of losing everything.
Mr. Bartman wasn’t the only person this past week who took a risk by putting their mitt out to see what they might catch. There were a few other spectacular plays that will compete to make the “play of the week.”
One was in Dallas where doctors separated conjoined twins in a marathon operation on an operating table invented for the surgery. Too early to say for sure whether doctors will be able to catch both twins, but they made the play.
Meanwhile, halfway around the world, a 50-page, unofficial peace plan has been drawn up by former Israeli and Palestinian government officials and veteran negotiators who envision a gutsy plan addressing all the issues that have sunk past peace efforts. Called the Geneva Accord, it’s an effort to make one spectacular catch.
Which all goes to prove, if you hope to make great plays in life, you have to be willing to put your faith on the line, so, go ahead, take a risk, stick your mitt out, and see what you catch.