Putting Away the Pigeonholes
Last week the Washington Nationals won the World Series, breaking a multi-decade drought without a baseball title in DC that extended back to 1924. It brought to mind for me the stories that surfaced this summer with the death of Bill Buckner. He played first base for many years for the Boston Red Sox, who for decades suffered through a similar championship drought. In 1986, with Boston up 3-2 in the series and tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 10th, a slow, routine roller was hit to Buckner at first that should have ended the inning. Instead he made an error, letting the ball scoot through his legs. The runner scored. The game ended. Boston went on to lose the next game and the series, and for years after, that was all most people remembered about Buckner. One moment, one mistake, one error overshadowed a 20-year baseball career that included 2,715 hits, a batting title, and an all star appearance.
It made me think: How many times do we Bill Buckner others or ourselves? We take one error and allow it to erase all the other accomplishments and positive attributes. We take one failure and allow it to overshadow all the other successes. We take a few stumbles and allow them to keep us or others from walking any further. We sin, perhaps a sin with serious consequences, but we surrender control to the story of that sin instead of the story of Christ’s salvation.
How awful it is when we take a partial picture from people’s biggest errors, their lowest moments and failure, and we treat it as the totality of who they are! How awful it is when we take our own low moments and limit our lives based on our worst instead of God’s best! The gospel compels us to resist those temptations and put away the pigeonholes. You are more than your worst mistakes. Besides, Christ can take all of us, the best and the worst, and use it for his glory!