Thursday, October 31, 2013

It Had To Happen (Thank You, Red Sox...Thank you, God)

What team does God root for?
I don't know how I feel about the role of God in the outcome of sporting events. That's not to say that He doesn't have a legitimate place in the lives of athletes; but, rather, does He play a deliberate role in the final score? That's something that could be debated endlessly. To be honest, that's not a question that I nor anyone on this God-given earth has a concrete answer to.  If there's one thing I'm sure of in life, however, it's that God rewards those who are faithful- those who are STRONG in will and faith. If those aren't characteristics of the city of Boston, then I don't know what are.
Boston has been a city in constant healing since that fateful Marathon Monday back in April. One way people tend to cope with tragedy is to turn to temporary distractions- little things that can take ones mind off of the sadness that can be so consuming and emotionally exhausting. In some cases those outlets of emotional release can be unhealthy, as with those who abuse drugs and alcohol. On the other side of the spectrum, you have people who develop a relationship with their God out of extenuating circumstances that they face in their lives. And then you have sports.
A lot of times, sports are like a bandage that stops the bleeding on the wound that something as horrific as the Boston Marathon Bombings can cause. But a bandage is just meant to stop the bleeding. A wound needs to cauterize, to heal on its own terms. Obviously, measures of protection and cleansing are taken to expedite and ensure the success of the healing process, but the body ultimately heals the wound on its own terms. Prayer, God's Love, and the love of friends and family are ultimately what do that for us in terms of emotional wounds.
This year was different. This year was special. This year, sports and God worked in tandem to heal a city in mourning. God clearly takes precedence, but  its apparent, at least to me, that He knew this city needed this. People turned to prayer, and the very same contingency of people turned to their local teams. Last night, the Red Sox new they were playing to a Higher Call: to God and their city.
"Not just a championship season, this has turned into a lifestyle after  "Boston Strong" came about...and you know The Man Upstairs is celebrating with us" -Jonny Gomes, last night after the Sox won their third World Series title in the last 10 years.
That quote by Jonny Gomes does a profound job in summing up this season. No one had given this team any chance of achieving anything remotely close to success this year. Many of your prototypical baseball pundits said that the Sox would be lucky to finish .500 on the season; for the Sox that would be a victory. Clearly, the 25 men in that clubhouse were not listening. You keep hearing the players talk about how from day one, they knew they had a special group of guys who had the chance to accomplish something incredible.
Every good team needs an identity, and it certainly didn't take the Sox long to find theirs: "Boston Strong".

Boston Strong
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