Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Lessons of Faith in Baseball, Lessons of Being a Good Person: Ernie Banks
One of the finest men to ever play the game. When once asked about never getting to play in a World Series:
Recently in a radio interview. Banks was asked how he could play at maximum level when there was little or no hope of playing in the World Series. He responded with a classic line: "You have to love the game itself and not love yourself in the game."
Banks went on to explain that he loved the game of baseball so much that he had to give his best effort every time. Yet he said some only love the game in the moment of play, and not for the love of the game itself. If a player plays with the attitude that his season will be over in August, he will simply go through the motions, even though he has to play another month or more of games.
And so is life. So is faith.
Ernie Banks gives us a few examples. He was constant. He played for the same team his whole carreer and played with love. But that line:
"You have to love the game itself and not love yourself in the game."
It is so easy for that line to apply to our relationship to God.
Add that to:
Yet he said some only love the game in the moment of play, and not for the love of the game itself. If a player plays with the attitude that his season will be over in August, he will simply go through the motions, even though he has to play another month or more of games.
And you have a way to live. If we love God only for what it feels like or what He does for us, then that is not deep. We love God, because He is.
Our season is not over in August. It is not over in Death. Just because we are Christian, the game does not end. Our faith must shine through our lives, through our works and how we treat people.
He has another quote:
"The only way to prove that you're a good sport is to lose."
The difficulties we face. The hardships give us a chance to be a better Christian.
"You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren't happy in one place, chances are you won't be happy anyplace."
"Awards mean a lot, but they don't say it all. The people in baseball mean more to me than statistics."
Ernie Banks. Decent. Good. Loyal. Funny. Kind.
An example in baseball and an example in faith. As he put it:
"I was very fortunate as a professional athlete to spend my entire career in one city -- Chicago; with one mayor -- Richard J. Daley; with one owner -- P.K. Wrigley; in one beautiful ballpark -- Wrigley Field; and under one light -- God's light, sunshine!"
Very often, God's light also came out of Ernie and touched others. And at 75 it still does. Keep going Ernie. And from this Yankee fan, thanks for the lessons of love and "Let's play two!"
Posted by DavidNic at 11:45 AM