As Election 2016 grinds to its inevitable conclusion, isn't it great to be able to enjoy a a story of hope fulfilled and real-life redemption?! The dramatic transition for long-suffering chumps into World Series Champs is the stuff of fairy tales--a journey of ebullient post-exiles who return to claim a glory they've never known.
Granted, this might sound a bit melodramatic, but what if sports can occasionally rise above being a mere metaphor for life? What if we can--on occasion--glean reminders of deeper realities through improbable moments like the Cubs' 2016 run? For example:
- "Lovable losers" no more: When the object of the game is winning, then losing is the equivalent to death. Decades upon decades of death make losers lovable only in the eyes of their enemies. Haters certainly hate, and they also scoff, scoff, scoff.
But today the Cubs Nation rejoices and is glad because it finally knows from personal experience that life (W) has triumphed over death (L)-- :)
- Plaything of dark forces no more: Endless streams of black cats and billy goats--vexing hexes and confounding hoaxes--can lead players and fans to hope too small. Their fight can be too feeble because the battle is already conceded. The powers of evil can seem at least as strong as the force of good, and darkness can easily become a more compelling story-line.
But the Cubs Nation now knows that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall not overcome it-- :)
- Pretenders and chokers no more: Flailing and fallen heroes can contribute to a seemingly endless cycle of failure. Success can seem like something promised only to others. Fans can be tempted not to truly love, in order to brace themselves for the inevitable sting of loss.
But the Cubs Nation has now seen that even the most surprising players, at the most unexpected moments, can have the strength for everything through the grace of the One who empowers them-- :)
- Yuppie-insiders and band-wagoners no more: With Wrigley Field easily dismissed as a mere museum, along with its claim to being one of the world's greatest beer gardens, it might be tempting to ignore the Cubs Nation as pseudo fans. In a divide-and-conquer political, cultural and economic landscape, there are many who want to put the experience of Cubs fans into a small box which would be all-too-easy to dismiss.
But the reality of the millions of fans at the championship parade proved otherwise: many came from the east and from the west, from all walks of life, from all races and nations, to join together as one-- :)
If all of this seems a bit sacreligious, or a bit sanctimonious (sorry fans of the Indians, Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals, Pirates, et al.!), here's a simple take-away: Death and Resurrection will always remain the central narrative of human history.
But death has no ultimate sting in real life, since the God-Man has triumphed and stands ready to carry all people to the championship parade for which every human heart longs. Remember, fans of Christ's Kingdom, the stunning deaths and shocking resurrections we experience along the way of our earthly journey will pale in comparison to the glory yet to be revealed.
The experience of Cubs nation provides a hint of a reminder that our hope lies not in political parties (though we pray that voters might actually defend life, religious liberty, and the pursuit of authentic human happiness). After all, eye has not seen and ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love him!