I have purposely not written about my St. Louis Cardinals for quite some time because this is one of most perplexing seasons for this team in many a year. My description of them is “consistently inconsistent” as just when you think they have things figured out, they revert to their maddening ways of playing.
There is no offense to speak of this year, the pitching varies wildly from game to game, and the decisions by the coaching staff makes one scratch his (or her) head. Tonight, for example, the Cardinals’ had their best pitcher going (Adam Wainwright) and he exits the game in the sixth inning losing 6-0. The batters appear to not have a clue as to what they are supposed to be doing at the plate. Yet, for all the fans’ complaining, the team remains only 3 games out of first place.
I’m going to see them play this week when Boston comes to town and I don’t know what to expect. It’s obvious that the supporters of the team have been spoiled with how well they have played these past few years. Nonetheless, their level of play this season is driving most of us daffy.
There are many more Cardinals’ fans around me these days and I’ve been asked what is the problem with the team. I truthfully don’t have a good answer because nothing makes sense.
For those of you who don’t care about baseball (much less a team from St. Louis), let me turn this discussion in a way that might be more relevant. During most years of my ministry, I have had parents and grandparents tell me about their child/grandchild–how they once were part of the church, active in many things, but now they refuse to attend. The question comes to me after they tell their story, “What can I do to bring them back to church?”
I don’t have a good answer for them because each situation is unique. One person may stop attending because of perceived inconsistencies in how they saw adults live their faith; another may quit because of influences pressed upon them when they were away from home going to school. The reasons are endless. The solution is not simple at all.
All I can suggest is for prayers to be raised to the Lord for the person who has caused the stress felt. The Lord knows what is best and will work to achieve His purposes. We can pray the young man or woman will realize what their Heavenly Father offers them and return to a life of faith.
There are no guarantees when it comes to working with people. The devil loves to draw us away from our God so that our eternal life with Jesus is in jeopardy. For those of you struggling with a family member who has seemingly abandoned their faith, all I can say is this: work to hang on to your own faith in Christ and ask that the Lord use your example to bring others (including your family members) to Him.
I can talk a lot about baseball but the spiritual lives of people around us is so much more important. And the Lord will help us to witness of our faith when we trust in Him.