I am a baseball fan. When I was a young boy about seven my dad was watching a game between the White Sox and the Yankees. I asked him, "Who do we want to win?" He said, "The White Sox." It was the equivalent of an arranged marriage. At that moment I pledged my heart. I have always been faithful.
If he had said the Yankees I would have regularly experienced success. They have been the best of all. Instead I was given to the White Sox, a team of historic failure. Historic failure without the affection and mythology attached to the Cubs.
October is the beginning of the post-season. Most of my life my season ended long before the last day of the season. That was true this year. So October (except in 2005) has always been about someone else's success, some one else's joy. I learned as a prayerful little boy that you could bombard heaven with a hundred prayers a day and still your team could lose. Sometimes lose more often than they won. As a young boy I wrestled with the question, "Why pray if it doesn't work?" Later, as I grew in faith I came to understand that baseball was not near important enough to invest that type of spiritual energy. That led to another question, "What really does matter? What should I care about and focus on?"
I still enjoy the game. I still hope the Sox can win. I still spend some part of most days thinking about baseball. It has not been a waste either. Because through baseball I learned to pray sincerely and to re-evaluate what I pray for. That is part of the Joureny in Faith, at least my journey. And in 2005 they did win it all. For once in my life I saw the Sox called Champions.... And it was great to know that there were more important things to me.