By Shari McMinn
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3–5 ESV)
I hope this month’s blog post will encourage you! But first … the backstory.
I love baseball! Fall means the end of the annual baseball season with the World Series coming up. My favorite movies list includes “Field of Dreams,” “42,” “Moneyball,” and “The Sandlot.” I grew up in the 1960s when girls could not play baseball on an organized team, so I played in the backyards of my neighborhood friends. Often, I was the first girl picked for a team since I could hit a home run! I followed the Cincinnati Reds, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Pittsburgh Pirates throughout my high school years. My longtime classmate played in the baseball catcher position, and I closely followed his career through high school, college, the minors, then in the big leagues when he played for the New York Mets, among others.
For me, the rare but most exciting play in baseball is the bases-loaded home run, called a “Grand Slam.” It is especially thrilling when the game is tied in the final inning, with one team out and the other team up. The final team at bat somehow loads the bases with hits or walks, then the slugger comes to home plate with his warm-up swings. The pitcher gets two strikes past the batter, who might then hit several foul balls before he belts one out of the park, bringing in himself and three others for a total of four runs on the scoreboard! I am getting goosebumps just thinking about the few times in my life when I have witnessed such an unforgettable moment in-person. What a thrill! The character, dedication, endurance, hard work, endless hours of working on skills, and hoping for victory together as a team, can sometimes create such a once-in-a-lifetime memory.Read More