Monday, October 5, 2009

Every day is a new day

I confess. I am a Detroit Tigers fan. Of course many of you already know that. As a matter of fact I was at the Norwich Free Academy Band Classic on Saturday night and ten minutes after I arrived and said hello to a few people there was an air gram alert saying "To Cal Lord: Go Tigers!"

Well the sad news is that this year's team was in first place all season long and then lost it in the final days. Today they are tied for first place and have to play one more game to determine who wins the division and goes on to play the New york Yankees in round one of the playoffs.

In analyzing the team, Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press, called them a flawed team. He said they had some good qualities but it was the flaws that stood out. Actually, he begins his article with a quote from a conversation that took place before the game:

On the eve of the biggest — and maybe best — game of his career, Ryan Raburn got a little pep talk from Leyland.

No, not Jim Leyland, the team's manager.

Patrick Leyland.

“Leyland’s son, he came in and told me I was 0-for-8 with five strikeouts against (John Danks), and go get him,” Raburn said. “So I was like, ‘It can’t get no worse. So just drop in and have fun.'"

That’s an odd motivational speech. Hey, I just want to point out: You have STUNK against this guy. I mean, stats don’t lie. He is thrilled you’re in the lineup. He called his family and friends and told them to watch the game. But, hey, go get him!

And yet, Raburn smacked two home runs. So maybe Patrick Leyland has a future as a manager.

In a way, maybe this is what all the Tigers needed to hear after dropping three in a row: You’ve been lousy, so admit it and forget it. But Raburn’s performance, which was essential to the Tigers’ victory, also showcased why this team (however flawed) is so fascinating right now.

Anybody can be the hero for the Tigers. This is what makes baseball different from most sports: The worst player on the team can be the best player in a game.

As I was reading this article I was struck by how often the same thing is true for us in our Christian walk. Not the stinking part, but the fact that on any given day anyone can be a hero for God. You and I possess the ability to do wonderful things for God. If we offer ourselves to Him, we can make some one's day with a smile or with some act of kindness.

Many of us feel that we can't contribute much to someone else's needs but that's not true. By being a friend or by giving someone a hand, we brighten their day. A phone call or a note can bring an encouraging word. Although a visit from the Publisher's Clearing House Prize Patrol is what most people think about when they think of a life changing blessing, it usually isn't the big things that bring us the most joy. It is the small things done by people who care about us that make the most difference in our lives.

The other point I love is the simple fact that we need to let go of the past. The fact that we messed up yesterday has nothing to do with what we are doing today. It has no hold over us if we don't let it. So give it to God and forget about it. Every day is a new day. Life is too short to dwell on it and we have work to do.

So get out there and make something happen. Be a blessing to someone.


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