Good morning, this is the Rev’d Julie Golding Page, from St. Patrick’s Anglican Church. This month’s daily devotionals have sports as their theme. They're available online, in video form, at plaideggnog.blogspot.com, as well as on CFMQ Radio. Today we’ll continue with baseball as our theme.
Last summer, I was looking for a baseball game to watch and stumbled on one played by the Los Angeles Dodgers. I’d never been a Dodger fan, but the broadcast caught my attention because the broadcaster himself was so interesting. He talked about the game with eloquence, yet he did so in a very down-to-earth way. He seemed to have background knowledge about every player – not just his own Dodgers. (I showed some Dodger baseball cards – include where from and website) And he included all sorts of personal stories about the players’ lives off the field, too, not just career statistics. He clearly saw the players as more than just members of a baseball team . They were people, in his eyes, with lives that mattered.
Another thing that impressed me about this broadcaster was, that no matter what happened in the game, whether his team was winning or losing, he always had something positive to say, in his calm, relaxed voice. Although he was obviously passionate about the game, and his own team, he gave the clear message through his unruffled commentary, that whatever happened in the game, life would go on. There were more important things in life than how this particular game would turn out. Listening to him made me feel calm and relaxed, too.
Little did I know that thousands of other baseball fans agree with me about how good a broadcaster this fellow is. He turned out to be Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully. Not only is he a popular broadcaster, but he’s been with the LA Dodgers since they were the Brooklyn Dodgers – that’s 63 seasons, and the longest any broadcaster has remained with one ball club. And this, despite being courted by other ball clubs, including the New York Yankees. Now, there’s commitment for you! If the Dodgers are doing well, he’s there for them. But if they are having a bad year, he’s still equally committed to them. He’s seen 63 years of ups and downs, and now at 84 years old, he’s still with them. He’s still the Voice of the Dodgers and they will always be his team
Vin Scully’s commitment to the Dodgers, through thick and thin – sometimes very thin indeed, if you’ve followed the Dodgers in certain years – reminds me of God’s commitment to his people. Here’s what Psalm 121 says about God: “He won't let you stumble, your Guardian God won't fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel's Guardian will never doze or sleep. 5-6 God's your Guardian, right at your side to protect you— Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke. 7-8 GOD guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.” From The Message, Ps 121:3-8
Like Vin Scully with the Dodgers, God promises to always be with us. His calming, encouraging voice is still speaking to us, even when it looks like we’re losing, and losing big, and even if it’s through our own fault. He’s there with us, to keep the evil of despair from seeping into our lives, and he reminds us we can start again. When we’re feeling on top of the world, he’s also there, still speaking with his calm, encouraging voice, to keep us from forgetting about him and thinking we have it all together by ourselves. And through it all, he’s interested in us as people – with lives that matter in themselves, not just because of the ways we can serve him. He really cares about us and knows us intimately. So whatever is happening in your life today, rest assured that our God knows, he’s interested in you, and he’s speaking to you. Let’s take the time to listen. For St. Patrick’s, I’m Julie Golding Page.