Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bees win, Bees win...or do they?

I just returned from a Salt Lake Bees victory, 18-9 over Tacoma in AAA baseball. The Bees scored 10 runs in the first inning that featured a grand slam and a 3-run homer. The outcome was never in doubt. I know all of you must be excited. And the fireworks afterward were pretty cool too--the kids enjoyed the wonderful show that was put on.

But that's not why I write. During the last couple of innings, several fans sitting behind me were rooting their hearts out for the visitors. Although they didn't make it into their seats until the third inning, they are apparently big fans of this Tacoma team (go figure!) and treated the game as if it were somehow close. When the Tacoma players had four consecutive hits in the top of the ninth inning, the one gentleman was going crazy--"Thata boy, way to hit. You're almost there! You guys can do it!"

I was a tad confused. Yes, indeed Tacoma scored two more runs to narrow the deficit to 18-9, but eventually the Bees' reliever got the third out, and then the Bees swarmed the field, giving each other their congratulatory high fives for their easy victory The one fan behind me was quite confused. "What's going on?" he said to nobody in particular. "They didn't win the game. My team is ahead. The Bees still have to bat."

All of a sudden, I realized the confusion. Because Salt Lake scored 10 runs in the first inning, the scoreboard indicated this tally with a "0." All along, this fan had apparently thought that the Bees were winning 8-7 going into the ninth (even though the total runs on the scoreboard did say 18-7), but when his team scored twice, he figured they went ahead by a run. When I turned around and explained the situation while the Bees were finishing their congratulations, his countenance was deflated. How sad he was. What seemed to be so obvious to everyone else apparently wasn't to him and his friends because they were late to the game. Frankly, he ignored many signs that his team was in an impossible situation, and despite their good half inning, the game was over.

This, I  thought, is what it's like sharing the gospel to those who don't have any insight about the reality of God and His Word. For example, the Bible says that the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who perish. What may seem very obvious to the believer is just unknown to those who don't "get it." They may even think the score is close when it's very clear it's a runaway.

It's a reminder that we can't take anything for granted when we share the faith. Let's do our best to explain to everyone what took place in the first inning. It's not even close. He's in control and, as the Bible teaches, He wins in the end.

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