One of these days, people are going to get smart and to stop reading newspapers and read only blogs written by the people who actually make news.
In case you missed the story, this was in response to Baltimore Oriole’s sports commentator, Gary Thorne, who said during a live telecast of a Red Sox vs. Oriole’s game that the blood on Curt Schilling’s sock in the 2004 ALCS and World Series was really just paint put there for effect. And so one of the great sports stories of our time became a news item again three years after the fact.
Even if you are not a baseball fan, let me explain why you should care. The story is not about baseball per se, it’s about relying on God when you are in an impossible situation, expecting the miraculous, and then giving all the glory to God when the world stands in awe of your acomplishment.
The back story, in case you live in a cave, is that the Red Sox hadn’t won a World Series in 86 years. They were down in the second round of the playoffs three games to none. No team in playoff history — in baseball or basketball — has ever won four in a row after losing the first three games in any playoff situation. And Schilling, the star pitcher, had a ruptured tendon. It was stitched back together for game 4 — which they won in extra innings. Then they won the next three games — an impossible comeback according to all odds. These things just don’t happen. Yet it did happen.
So what did Schilling do when the media asked him? He told the story about how God gave him direction and peace.
I’ve got to say, I became a Christian seven years ago, and I’ve never in my life been touched by God as I was tonight. . . . I tried to go out and do it myself in Game 1, and you saw what happened. Tonight was God’s work on the mound. . . . God did something amazing.
Of course, the liberal media in some circles ridiculed him and there are still those out to get him for being brash about his faith. Then there comes the stupid remark by Thorne who claimed he had an inside scoop — it wasn’t really blood on his sock during those games, but paint.
Schilling issued the statement through his blog rather than talking through the local sports media. They hate that by the way — Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe ridicules the the 38 Pitches blog every chance he gets. Can’t stand the competition, Dan? And that’s another reason as a blogger or a blog reader why you should care.
… When I walked into the room for the post game interviews and offered up my first response to the questions about the game I basically said that the night was a revelation for me. That my faith in God that evening showed me things I’d never believed.
As I uttered those words I could see pretty much every person in that room roll their eyes and smirk. That’s not what any of them wanted to hear, truth or not. That was not good copy. They needed more and what I didn’t give them, they got themselves….
What I experienced in NY and again in game two of the world series was a deeply religious and deeply personal thing. I’ve never been one to hide how I feel and sharing what I went through was not something I had a problem with. I’ve forsaken my relationship with the Lord far too many times and wasted far too many opportunities to glorify him and what he’s done for me in my life. I also knew the media would have a field day with the comments. Obviously I didn’t care.
I was talking to a friend about this recently and his response was, “So what? God doesn’t care about sports — especially that sport!”
God cares about sports.
Sports are a human institution ordained by God just as much as teaching, website e-commerce businesses, manned missions to space, and yes even carpentry.
So let’s say that as a Christian, God brought you to the highest level of success in your chosen business or profession. You considered yourself a Christian for your entire life, but you had failed the Lord many times and your testimony wasn’t what it should have been. Just as you were about achieve a major success, you suffered a major blow in the form of a debilitating health issue that would remove you from your work for more than a year. During that time you cried out to God and He did something phenomenal, perhaps a miraculous healing.
When people asked you. “How in the world did you do it?” the first words out of your mouth were to glorify God. Before that time, you had never shared your faith publicly, partly out of fear of ridicule and partly because you knew that you had flaws. But after you did that, nothing seemed to matter any more. The burden of trying so hard to achieve success was lifted from your shoulders. Everything changed.
That’s the Curt Schilling story. It probably isn’t any more important in the eyes of God than that of the simple Everyman trying to succeed in life and live for God. But the 2004 Red Sox Championship was one of the top sports stories of all time. So the story reached a lot of people and encouraged them to imitate one example of living for Christ.
Here is an article from World Magazine that gives the whole story.