It is a great day to be from Kansas City. It is a great day to be a Royals fan. I have been a baseball fan for as long as I can remember. I have loved the Royals my entire life. As I watched all the little Hosmer, Gordon, Moose, and Perez costumes during Halloween, I couldn’t help but think back to my childhood when I HAD to be George Brett. My grandmother made the baseball pants (because back in the day you couldn’t head to your local sporting goods store to pick up a pair); I wore my George Brett jersey, we found blue stirrups, and I had baseball cleats with a flap that folded over the laces. I was GEORGE BRETT!
When my younger brother was born, I begged my mom to name him Brett. My last name at the time was George and there would have been nothing better than having a little brother named Brett George!
Here we are 30 years later and this city has gone crazy for the Royals. It has been an absolute incredible month of baseball in Kansas City. Families plan their evenings to watch games together. Neighbors spend a few extra minutes talking at the mail box about Escobar swinging at first pitches. Production at the office might be down a little because of the conversations about whether or not our starting pitching can get us to the 6th inning. The Kansas City Royals have created an excitement that I have never seen in my 38 years. They have created a revival of unity for this city…a revival of pride to be from Kansas City.
As I reflect on the late nights over the last few weeks, I cannot help but think about what is IT that has people captivated? I especially had this thought after game 5 last night. The ENTIRE city exploded when Eric Hosmer scored from 3rd on a ground out to the 3rd baseman and the score was tied. What is IT that gets people to scream at their flat screen TV and jump around their living room? What is IT that captivates our attention with such intensity? What is IT?
There was HOPE.
When Hosmer scored, the city of Kansas City had hope. Most of us will never meet Eric Hosmer. If we do, it will be in an autograph line and we will shake his hand, get his autograph and thank him for the memories he provided during the 2015 World Series. When he crossed the plate, there was hope.
It’s strange how a sporting event can cause so much emotion. We invest both emotionally and financially into a group of men in their 20’s and 30’s to provide something that all of us long for deep within our soul.
Tomorrow most of the city will shut down and go downtown to watch the parade. We will cheer for the boys in blue with our families and talk about the memories throughout October. Come April, we will celebrate again on Opening Day as they raise the World Champion banner and hand out the rings.
All of these emotions will eventually wear out. Someday the Royals will not make the playoffs. There will not be baseball in October for us to get excited about. We will talk about how good we were in 2015. The excitement will be no more for the Kansas City Royals.
After the parade is over, we will go back to our normal lives. Maybe it is the dead-end job. Or the marriage that seems to be over. It could be the financial problems that you have been ignoring start to consume your thoughts.
You will long for the days that you looked forward to watching the Royals game that night. Why is this? I believe it is because for the 4 hours that we can sit and watch a game, we can forget about the reality that is all around us. For those 4 hours, our reality is overshadowed by the unique connection that baseball has created.
I do not want this blog post to deflate your excitement or put a dark cloud over reality once the parade is over tomorrow. But let me ask you a question. What if you could create that same excitement in everything that you do? What if the same excitement you experienced by Dyson stealing a base late in the game could be experienced by going to the park with your children? What if going to dinner with your wife/husband created a sense of victory just as beating the Blue Jays created it?
What if I told you that the same excitement that you have experienced over the past 4 weeks could be experienced in everything that you do? Would you think I am crazy? Would you say it would take a miracle for that to happen?
Miracles do happen.
Do they happen during a baseball series? Sure they do.
Do they happen in life? I believe they do. I KNOW they do. I have experienced them and I want you to as well.
What if I told you that following Jesus everyday of your life would create the same hope and excitement that you have experienced watching the Royals play this October? Some of you might think I am crazy. You shrug it off as crazy religious talk. I am not talking about being more religious. I am talking about following Jesus.
See I believe that Jesus walked this earth as a human being just like you and I. I believe that He was sent by God to live a sinless life and die on a cross for my sins so I can spend eternal life in heaven. I believe that Jesus rose from the grave 3 days after He was killed on the cross. Because of this, I believe that I will be raised to life in heaven once I take my final breath on earth.
I believe in miracles.
You might not believe what I believe. I am not writing this to convince you to. I simply want to ask you one question.
If you do not believe what I believe, what DO you believe?
I am here to tell you, Jesus will be that miracle in the 9th inning that gives you hope when all hope is lost. He will be the winning run in extra innings when your world seems so lost and broken. He will give you a sense of accomplishment. He will give you a reason to be excited again. He will not disappoint. He will not become old news. He will give you victory. Joy will follow.
Miracles do happen. Are you ready to experience one? Do you NEED to experience one?
If so, give this Jesus thing a chance. What do you have to lose?