“There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven.” Ecc. 3:1
For the Chicago Cubs, it is the season for rejoicing. A historical moment occurred as the World Series entered the 10th inning of the deciding game that began on November 2, 2016. Almost eliminated after losing three games, the Cubs triumphed over the Indians. Cubs fans, after holding hope for over a century, finally have their World Series, and baseball fans witnessed one of the most incredible baseball series in history.
At times it may have seemed like triumph was never coming. Perhaps you feel like you are in the tenth inning of the game that appears to have no end in sight. Are you ready to give up? I witnessed Cubs fans give up, find renewal, and new ones claim allegiance.
When it comes to hope, what kind of “Cubs fan” do you identify with?
The Hopeless Pessimist: Have you given up in your struggle? Maybe you think your pessimism will help keep you from disappointment. I’m not going to tell you that hope means bouncing off the walls with joy every moment until Jesus comes a second time, but it certainly doesn’t mean giving up. Throughout life try not to let your hope burn out so quickly by reminding yourself of the Ecclesiastics quote—“There is a time for everything.”
The Superstitious Subscriber: Do you believe that a goat cursed the Cubs? Baseball is perhaps the single most superstitious sport in America (if not the world), but as a Catholic, we aren’t supposed to be superstitious. Instead of blaming our disappointments on a scapegoat, we should keep following the Lord’s will and doing our best in all things until we meet our goals – whether winning a game or conquering sin. Superstition can’t solve what faith, hope, and love can. Even in the face of the impossible, keep hope in your heart.
The Overly Zealous: Did you imprudently bet everything on the Cubs these past years? Look at the nuns in this video. They made a bet, yes, but they made it prudently. There was no loser, which is what you need to remember in order to keep your hopes up. God is the “safest” bet. This means that you should give up or risk everything to follow Him. Keep that in perspective when you place your hopes fully in worldly matters. I’m sure God heard a lot of prayers during the World Series, but I certainly hope any unanswered prayers over a sports game didn’t lead to a crisis of faith. With matters of faith, put everything on God.
The Fair-weather Fan: You say you’re a fan, but really only when they win. Much like a fair-weather friend, you only hang around in good times. Well, hate to break it to you, but there are bad times and good times. Hope lasts through them both, so you should try not to abandon it based on the “weather.” Perhaps, pray more consistently and God will help you in whatever you are struggling with—from accepting sports scores to fighting a spiritual battle. There is only one place where hope no longer exists because everything hoped for is fulfilled—Heaven. We aren’t there yet, so even after a win, keep your hopes up!
If we could all face spiritual battles with courage and train as hard as professional athletes when it comes to our path to heaven, imagine just how much this world would change. Keep your faith and you will learn that hope does not disappoint, especially in matters bigger than the World Series (Romans 5:5).
Both teams may have hoped for the same thing while only one achieved it, but there is a time for everything. It is a time to celebrate for both Chicago and Cleveland—two teams who trained hard and played well. For the Indians, hope continues. For the Cubs, hope is celebrated and renewed: “And when we eat and drink and find happiness in all our achievements, this is a gift from God.” (Ecc. 3:13)