I used to spend quite a bit of time keeping up with the news …. world news, political news, church news, sports news, etc. This has diminished over the years as I usually left my news updates with a bit of a stomach ache … so much of the news was depressing…very little good new. Over the last several months, with the coronavirus and social unrest, it’s even harder to listen to the news.
It used to be that you could take a break from all of this “bad news” and enjoy one of your favorite pastimes. “A pastime is a hobby, or, as the Oxford English Dictionary puts it, “a diversion or recreation which serves to pass the time agreeably; an activity done for pleasure rather than work; a hobby; a sport, a game.”
It was a relief to go to a ball game or watch it on TV with your favorite “adult beverage” and cheer your team on. If they lost, you could catch “Mike & the Mad Dog” on Sports Radio 66 on Monday for a bit of therapy to restore your piece of mind. For the first half of the 20th century baseball was called the “National Pastime”. Even during WWII, baseball continued to be played. In a letter of January 15, 1942, FDR (President Franklin D. Roosevelt) wrote to Baseball Commissioner Mountain Landis, saying “ I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going”… so baseball was played during WWII. Well what Hitler and his cohorts couldn’t do during WWII, the Coronavirus has done…knocked our National Pastime(s) out of the park.
But wait… hold on a minute, hold on for just a minute …. there may still be a pulse in the old baseball body. I just read yesterday that there will be a baseball season…..wooooo, listen up:
“After the coronavirus postponed the start of the baseball season, and shut down nearly everything else, the sport is set to return with a 60-game season. The regular season will begin Thursday, July 23 with a prime-time doubleheader… Yankees vs defending champion Nationals, and the second game pits the San Francisco Giants against the Los Angeles .”
So at least you baseball fans will get a bit of your pastime back this year. I hear other sports are trying some things also. For you non-sports fans, you still need to re-discover your pastime…you also need some “re-creation”… away from the daily grind.
We can remember Pope John Paul II on the ski slopes and walking through the mountains of Italy, being refreshed with the greatness of God’s creation. If we’re able to recapture a bit of our favorite pastime, this will hopefully help us to take a deep breath, smile, and remember that the virus and craziness will not have the last word, but Christ will. And that is very good news.