Fever

Getting All Fired Up Is Usually Temporary

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, gave me a call yesterday. He was talking with a high level of excitement because the Blue Jays had an unforgettable 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers. On Oct. 14th, there may have been a sellout crowd of 49,742 at the Rogers Center, but millions of Canadians were at the game in spirit and interest. They were suffering from the contagious Blue Jays’ fever going around our nation. Ed, a big sports fan of baseball informed me it was Toronto’s first home playoff win since Joe Carter’s home run secured the 1993 World Series. Ed could not stop talking about the game filled with controversy, bad blood, and Bautista’s three-run seventh-inning homer. I wondered if he would be able to sleep that night as he was so wound up.

My old neighbor did not cool down when I asked him if there also was election fever in Melville. He had a lot to say about the federal election that was only a few days away. According to Ed, “Blue Jays’ fever across the country encourages folks and makes them feel good. Election fever across the nation, however, reminds people that they may get a headache from the results of the voting. Elections are won or lost, but it never seems to make much difference who wins.” Ed stressed, “Elections are like sermons in that nothing much seems to come from them. With the Blue Jays, every game they win gives more hope and excitement.  Election results are like another bad umpire call.”

Ed’s call was an opportunity for him to vent. His call felt like the length of the baseball game at three hours and 37 minutes. I guess it was just an hour, but my ear was getting sore stuck to the telephone receiver. When Ed was finally ready to hang up, I suggested that Ed should stand on a table and grab a bottle of champagne and pour it over his head as Jose Bautista did after their win. Ed had no response to my suggestion but said he would be following the Blue Jays until their elimination. He believes winning games doesn’t tend to last too long, at least when it comes to the World Series.

Most folks would agree that winning is sweet and losing is sour. Too often the time of our team’s winning streak is too short. Winning and losing seem to come and go in stretches. Our wins and defeats give our lives dramatic highs and lows. In winning, we find praise and in losing we get the blame. We tend to love to win and hate to lose. Not so with our God.  We know that Jesus was not afraid to lose his life for us, and shoulder the weight of our sins on himself on the cross. Jesus exemplified God’s genuine love for us so we could step up to the plate, and hit line drives of love as we run the bases of our lives.

Mother Teresa said, “Love is giving.  God gave his Son. Jesus loved the world so much, loved you, loved me, so much, that he gave His life. And He wants us to love as He loved. True love is giving and giving until it hurts.”

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Raymond Maher
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