Do you know that Yogi Berra was a Cardinal fan until he signed with the Yankees in 1943 for $500. And as I may have mentioned a few times, I’m a Cardinal fan…. Wow, Yogi and me…both from St. Louis and both Cardinal fans…. very interesting.
In honor of my birth, the Cards won the World Series in 1946…. beating those dreaded Boston Red Sox. There were only 16 teams in 1946 (vs 30 today). Stan Musial was the NL MVP and “player of the Year” and Ted Williams was the AL MVP. The Redbirds didn’t win another Championship until 1964, the year I graduated high school.
One thing that Yogi used to say was “it ain’t over til it’s over”, or in my words, “there’s always reason to hope”. In that light I do have to mention that as of this writing, the Cardinals have won 17 games in a row (the most in their history) and captured a playoff spot. This after being hopelessly lost only a few weeks ago. How long the magic will last, who knows….but it’s brings some joy and hope to Cardinal fans.
Is there a spiritual principle we can gleam from this remarkable development? Well, I think there is . Hope is very important to our health. When you lose hope you begin to die…. you have nothing to live for. Now, while your favorite team winning some games can bring a little hope and a few smiles, our hope needs to be a bit deeper than that. We need a hope that lasts beyond the next disappointment and loss.
As Christians, our hope is rooted in life after death. We all are going to die… rich and poor, famous and unknown, healthy and sick. No one makes it out of this world alive and “you can’t take your treasures with you”. Without hope, that’s a pretty depressing thought. BUT, with hope, we can smile and be joyful and have real expectations of the future. It can’t be a “willy nilly hope” that has no basis in truth…it needs to be based on real evidence that the hope is true.
My hope is in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for my sins and was raised from the dead…. in Jesus Christ who loves me and has promised to bring me home to my father in heaven one day. You may say, but Dave, “how do you know” that will happen; have you been to heaven? Well, I’ve seen glimpses of heaven… a foretaste of heaven in the mountains and the sea and the sunsets. I’ve seen the beauty of children and friendship and loyalty. I’ve experienced the tears of joy. I’ve seen love poured out on myself and others. I’ve experienced peace that passes understanding. I believe that the words of Jesus are true… that he loves us and is preparing a place for us in heaven, and that this love is available to everyone. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
So, while I’m enjoying “momentary” hope in the St. Louis Cardinals, I’m really placing my “eternal” hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. And I encourage all to do the same.