As baseball revs up the second half of the season, much ink (and digital type) is being spilled speculating about what will happen next. Will there be a major blockbuster trade that pushes a contender to the forefront? Which team will get the big bat, power starting pitcher, or closer they desperately need—and will their division rivals be forced to ante up or fold as a result? Will cellar-dwelling teams go into full “fire sale” mode and try to unload salaries by dumping players to teams on the rise? Who will be the next manager to be fired? Who will replace him? Will Major League Baseball be haunted by the same labor strife that has hit the NFL and NBA this year? And, of course, who will win the division, league, and World Series championships? If past history teaches us anything, it is that it will require the rest of the season and beyond to gain a measure of certainty in these areas where uncertainty is currently flourishing.
As a baseball fan, of course, I think these are some of things that make baseball so much fun. It is unexpected. It is filled with uncertainty. It is a season filled with both shock and surprise—which is why we watch and listen and read blogs and articles and all those things. Part of what makes sports thrilling is the lack of certainty about what will happen. The same could not be said about eternity, however. This is the ultimate example of an area where we need all the certainty that we can get—and Jesus’ disciple John wrote to tell us that this kind of certainty is available. He said:
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)
“That you may know” expresses a confidence that requires more than just our best guess. It requires more than wishful thinking. It is a confidence born out of faith in Christ and what He has done for us in His sacrifice on the cross. John says that by placing our faith in Christ, we receive eternal life—and we can confidently know that. What a wonderful God we have, who not only sent His Son to provide us with forgiveness and life but also allows us to know confidently that this life is ours. In Him, the need be no lack of certainty!
Bill Crowder, Sport Spectrum Chaplain