I remember the late great comedian George Carlin performing the infamous baseball vs. FOOTBALL routine. Generally vain but always funny, with his comedic satire, here Carlin hit on a truth that cannot be denied: the fact of the matter is that life is like both of these uniquely American sports. “Baseball is a 19th Century pastoral game,” whereas “Football is a “20th Century technological struggle . . . Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life; Football begins in the fall, when everything is dying.”
In Football and life, we must play in any kind of weather; despite rain, sleet, snow, hail and mud . . . the struggle must continue. Carlin went on to say that “in Football, the object is for the quarterback, otherwise known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz even if he has to use the shotgun; with short bullet passes and long bombs; he marches his troops into enemy territory balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemies defensive line.” But life is also like Baseball in that “the object is to go home and to be safe. I hope I’ll be safe at home – safe at home.”
Don’t we want both? “To march into enemy territory with a sustained ground attack;” to “punch holes in the enemy defensive line” and “to go home and be safe?” The only way to do both is to trust in God who will fight for us and fight with us. The only way to go home and be safe is to “trust in Him who will not leave you;” the One who is on our side. Daily we need to turn to Him who is the only one who can guarantee to help us through life whether it is like baseball or football. “Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested” (Hebrews 2:18, New Living Translation). And long before George Carlin, the hymnwriter gave us these words:
“Here I raise my Ebenezer; Hither by Thy help I’ve come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.”
Don’t you want to arrive safe at home?