Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Of Trust and the Red Sox

He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

Luke 5:3-11 (NRSV)

Who do you trust?

As I've mentioned before, I’m a Boston Red Sox fan. Big-time. I’ve been a fan since I was born, because my parents are fans. That meant I grew up knowing who to like (the Red Sox) and who to not to like (the Yankees). Mrs. LH and I Have been working hard at instilling the same sense of right and wrong in Kiddo--this is an important issue we're dealing with after all, the importance of learning right (Red Sox) from wrong (Yankees), of clinging to the good (Red Sox...sense a pattern here?) and shunning what is evil (Yankees). For some reason, lately I've been thinking back to the magical postseason of 2004. Maybe it's because I was given a copy of Fever Pitch for Christmas...who knows. That year, the Red Sox played AGAINST the Yankees in a best of 7 series to see who would go to the World Series. The Yankees had won the first 3 games, and things didn’t look good. In fact, they looked downright awful. In order to keep from being eliminated, the Red Sox would have to win 4 games in a row, with the final 2 games being played at Yankee Stadium. No team had EVER (that's right, EVER) come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best of 7 series. But, for the first time in major league baseball history, in the greatest comeback of all time, the Red Sox did exactly that, winning game 7 10-3.

There was much rejoicing in the LutheranHusker household. You see, the Red Sox have a history of being on the OTHER side of those types of situations. They’re always the ones who choke. They’re always the ones who get oh so close, then don’t quite make it to the end. They’re the ones getting their hearts broken. I always used to think of us Red Sox fans as Charlie Brown, and of the Red Sox as Lucy. Every year, she holds out that football for Charlie Brown to kick, and every year he runs toward the ball, determined that THIS is the year he’s going to kick it, and every year, just at the last second, she pulls the ball away and he flies through the air, landing in a heap and a cloud of dust. Ever since 1918, the last time the Sox won the World Series, we Red Sox fans have put our trust in the Red Sox, and they kept letting us down.

Until 2004.

Who do you trust?

Peter, James and John were out fishing. They hadn’t caught anything all night, and were frustrated. This was their profession—they were supposed to be good at it. Suddenly, this stranger comes up and tells them what to do, and amazingly, they do it. Even more amazingly, it works! These guys, who had put so much trust in their own expertise, had no idea at first who they were talking to or dealing with. But suddenly, their nets were filled with fish and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus had come to them, and for no good reason at all other than the authority in his voice, they trusted him. They trusted what he had to say, and because of it they experienced a miracle.

People let us down. Institutions let us down. Our friends, our family, even ourselves, all let us down. The Church lets us down. As Peter confessed in the gospel, we are all sinful people. But God does NOT let us down. When we listen to him, when we follow him, when we put our trust in him, miracles happen.

Who do you trust?

Think about it. Where is your trust? Have you put your trust in money, in friends, in your abilities? Have you put your trust in your family, in your bosses, in your government? Now don’t get me wrong. We can’t go through life being distrustful of everyone and everything. But when it comes down to it, the big question is, who do you trust more? Who do you trust most? Where is your source of ultimate trust? If you’re like me, when you honestly ask yourself those questions, the answer may not be what you’d like it to be.

Like my Red Sox, all those other things will let you down, sooner or later.

We say God is our source of ultimate trust. That’s easy to say in church on Sunday morning. But when we leave our comfortable pew, when we go back out into the real world, is that really what we believe?

Andrew and Peter experienced the results of that trust firsthand with their great catch of fish. And they responded by following Jesus’ call to them. What would happen to us if we quit putting our ultimate trust in all that other stuff and started putting our ultimate trust in God? Where would he call us? What wonderful miracles would he have in store for us?

You know what, there’s only one way to find out.

Who do YOU trust?

1 comment:

Rev Scott said...

Great post, man. I think the only way I've ever known peace is to trust in God alone and let everything else fall as it will. I know for sure that when I've trusted in other things first I've been horribly, painfully disappointed. Thanks for this.