Cubs Lose; Cosmos Secure


Good news and bad news.

The bad news is that the Cubs lost their only three postseason games this year and will not be going to the World Series.

The good news is that the cosmos is stable, the economic crisis has not disturbed the fundamental mechanics of the universe, and electoral deceptions do not disrupt the fabric of the most basic truths of life. The Cubs lost–the world is as it should be.

Am I sad? Not really. Oh, I would have enjoyed a Cub run through the Series to victory. I would have savored it.

But I am a Cubs fan. I understand loss. It does not surprise me. I even, to some degree, find my identity as a Cubs fan in the futility, the pain, and the disappointment. There is a sadistic kind of joyo in losing for a Cubs fan. It is the way it is. :-)

I am not a johnny-come-lately Cubs fan. I have been a fan since 1967 (since I was 10 years old)–the years of Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, etc. I was a Cubs fan long before WGN went cable.

So, my serenity is not disturbed by an early exit from the postseason. In fact, my serenity does not come from sports at all.

If I may wax a bit theological here….are you surprised?….my theology of “play” is not about winning or distraction. It is about enjoying the moment; about taking pleasure in the gifts God has given to his world. To play–or to watch vicariously–is a kind of abandonment to the moment, to experience joy (even when we lose!).

I enjoy the Cubs as a part of my “playing,” just as I enjoy other moments of “play” (from playing cards to playing with my wife). They provide moments of life, moments of joy, spontaneous moments that re-create and enliven our stories.

But my serenity does not depend on winning or losing. My serenity comes from playing in the presence of God…just as the Sabbath was not simply a day of rest, but a day of enjoyment, a day to play…just as the Song of Songs was about the playfulness of sexual love between a man and woman…just as biblical hospitality is not merely an ethical obligation but a moment to play as well.

So, the Cubs lost. That’s ok. God is stil God–obviously! And my abiding joy–as I continue to learn–comes from a divine presence rather a Cubs World Series victory. To despair over a loss in sports is a loss of perspective about what is truly important and from where true joy comes.

P. S. For those interested in a good book on the “theology of play,” read my former professor’s The Christian at Play by Robert K. Johnston. Enjoy! :-)



11 Responses to “Cubs Lose; Cosmos Secure”

  1.   weswoodell Says:

    Congratulations – you’re the first theologian I’ve ever heard relate a Cubs loss to Song of Solomon and sexual playfulness. :p

  2. Avatar of johnmarkhicks  John Mark Hicks Says:

    I have a good theological imagination. :-) And I try really hard to justify watching the Cubs! :-)

  3.   K. Rex Butts Says:

    “To despair over a loss in sports is a loss of perspective about what is truly important and from where true joy comes.”

    I agree but I must confess that for a few moments I wanted to take a 12-guage to my television as I watched the Cubs loose. Oh well…wait until next year, right?

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  4.   rich constant Says:

    rex i hope (for your sake) you never take up golf.

    i once saw a man that was playing with my dad throw a whole set of clubs including bag and cart.
    in to a stream at the bottom of a 75 ft. or so ravene.
    and yes he had to get them back i must of been 6 or so, my dad was pretty good, about a 0 handycap for 13 years or so he said.so i assume the competition was pretty stiff.

    butt then,
    i once got kinda angry at my wife about putting a new belt on the vacuum cleaner.
    she said if I didn’t put it on right now she was going to call a handyman.
    I said oh yeah, and then picked up the vacuum cleaner and proceeded to throw it in deep end of the the pool.
    What that vacuum has cost me over the years and hearing about my rash actions too many times anyone could imagine hearing that story repeated.
    To say nothing of buying a new vacuum cleaner.
    Well rex I sure hope you don’t have a flat panel display.
    The hole that you would leave in the wall might cause you some grief.
    To say nothing of the stories that would be told.

    Oh well we all have our issues

  5.   Richard Corum Says:

    John Mark:

    You were the first person I thought of after game three. I really thought that with this being the 100th year since the last series win that things would be different, but there is always next year.

  6.   K. Rex Butts Says:

    Richard,

    There has been a few times in my life when I went out on to some very well manicured grass with an alloy stick in my hand and swung a little white balls on the grass – but I would not call that playing golf, at least not what I was doing.

    My reaction to the Cubs loosing is the same reaction my father had in the 1985 world series when he watched his beloved St. Louis Cardinals (that is right, a Cardinals fan raised up a bunch of Cubs fans) loose to the Kansas City Royals. It was the first World Series I watched and I just remember my father increasingly becoming agitated and my mother continuously reminding him that it was only a game.

    -Rex

  7.   Norris DeBerry Says:

    Only a Cub fan could come up with such spin! When God finally and completely reverses the curse, then all will be well (for Cub fans).

  8.   Terrell Lee Says:

    Cubs? Is that an American team?

  9.   rich constant Says:

    Cubs? Is that an American team?

    to make an old saying new

    The Cubs will be moving their spring training camp to the Philippines.
    And take on a new name for manila folders.
    :-)

  10.   K. Rex Butts Says:

    Richard,

    The “Manila Folders”… that is a Cub joke that I have not heard before…but I’m not laughing:-).

    Rex

  11.   rich constant Says:

    i sure you have heard this on

    ” GOD is a comedian with that audience that forgot how to laugh.

    Sorry their rex you asked for that,ONE..
    I was hoping John Mark with CHIME IN ON THAT ONE.

    But he’s asleep you’ll switch and you jumped in.
    Blessings rich.

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