A Personal (Baseball) Rant

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Game 5 of the NLCS was last night.  For those who live around here it was a big deal.  But I have to confess, I'm tired of the moping, agonizing, whining Giants fans that act like their grandmother just died.  Let's rehearse the facts here.  Not less than two years ago these same fans were complaining "Lincecum, Cain and pray for rain" as the team motto.  The Giants were not great, and the fans knew it.  Last year was a bit of a resurgence for them but again they knew they were still a few pieces short.  Now this year they are one game within going to their third World Series in the last 20 years and they still mope and whine.  The Giants lost last night.  Big deal.  They are still up 3-2 in the series and they have won in Philly before.  In fact they won't even face Philly's best pitcher in game six. 

However here is where I take sides against the Giants.  Until you have suffered through 102 years without a championship and 65 years without even a trip to the World Series you cannot complain.  You can gripe if the Giants lose game seven against Philly.  But until a black cat crosses the path of your All-Star, (should be) Hall of Fame third baseman and entire dugout and then the series goes to crap right after that you cannot complain. Until the best team in baseball blows the NCLS against the lowly Padres in '84 you cannot mope.  Until you are 4 outs away from your first World Series in over 50 years and a strangely dressed man named Bartman reaches out and grabs all your hope away from you while your All-Star left fielder goes to make a play, you cannot gripe.

If I remember the statements of most of you at the beginning of the season you didn't even think you belonged in the post season this year.  Your GM didn't make the right moves, didn't spend the money, didn't get the big bat... The Cubs however were supposed to be in your shoes right now.  Cubs fans suffered. 

Giants fans are turning out to be big babies... not die hard, rugged, long-suffering, always-hopeful-yet-realistic-fans that the Cubs are.  Let me remind you.  You've been to the World Series in 1989 (when I was 11), 2002 (when I was 24) and probably again in 2010 (32 now)... Do the math.  That's at least two times in the last 15 years, probably 3.  Again, I've never seen the Cubs in the Series. 

So I will not be turn-coating any more to cheer for the Giants.  As fans you have had your shot to inspire me.  I have enough whinning of my own to do with the Cubs, I don't need your pathetic excuses for more. 

A Resolved, Frustrated, Resilient Cubs Fan Forever.

My Identity

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Hello,

My name is Jeremy.  If you and I were meeting for the first time you would expect this next sentence to contain a list of things that make me "me".  Usually this would include information about my job, my hobbies, maybe my family and kids, mostly it would declare what I love most.  Yet, unlike most identifying statements that you would find in an introductory meeting I have to tell you that I am not defined by those things.  My identity does not come from my:

  • job
  • marital status
  • income
  • hobbies
  • achievements
  • education
  • associations
  • kids

My identity is not wrapped up in what I put in my resumé. 

I have to declare, for the sake of my head and heart, that my identity is none of those things.  My identity is elsewhere.  It is true.  My identity is found in how Jesus defines me.  His Word uses terms like "beloved", "adopted", "justified", "brother", "friend", "forgiven", "accepted".  The gospel brings to bear some amazing things on my life.  God the Father looks at me in love and declares me to be His own. 

What is the basis of this?  It's not me to be sure.  In fact Jesus' Word tells me that I was once an enemy, a child of wrath, at enmity with God.  I hated God.  That doesn't sound anything like a beloved, justified son.  Yet the Son of God took on my shame, became my curse, died my death so that I could be identified and declared to be righteous.  He transferred me from death to life.  So who I am isn't wrapped up in what I do or do not do, my success or failures, my wealth or poverty.  My identity is wrapped up and kept in Jesus. 

No matter what happens in my life, today or this year or until the day, I die I will be defined by Jesus and who I am declared to be in Him.

I hope that helps you understand who I am a little better.  And for the sake of our introductory conversation, what is true of my identity can be true of yours as well.  Lay hold of Jesus, rest and trust in Him to give you a new identity in Him and not in your resumé.  Do you really want your degree posted on your tombstone?  I want mine to read "Beloved Child of God, Loved Much, Forgiven Much."  That is where my identity lies.