The St. Louis Blues went from worst to first in just six months. January found them in last place in the NHL. Last night they won game seven in Boston to secure the franchise's first Stanley Cup. The rebuild for our Detroit Tigers is definitely more of a long-term project.
However, you will find only minimal complaining on this topic from me. Though some may claim this is a sure sign of senility, I am actually enjoying the rebuild. Watching so many young kids get their first shot at the majors is fun. Last night's 3-2 win over K.C. was exciting (certainly better than another late inning collapse the night before). Joel and I are even traveling to Erie, PA next week to scout out some of the Tigers' prospects who should be wearing an old English D in the near future.
The major challenge, I find, is enduring all the yo-yo swings. The bullpen, which started out so strong, now is a nightly adventure into the twilight zone. A month ago I was ready to send Jacoby Jones back to the minors. Now he is on a tear and batting .254. This certainly is more entertaining that driving through Oakland County on I-75. .
And what about our own, personal reconstruction? How is this project going in you? Ever feel like you are seated on a see-saw, or riding blind-folded on a roller coaster with no seatbelt?
St. Paul assures us that "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5.17) But he also writes "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate." (Romans 7.15) So, which is it? Am I a new creation in Christ Jesus or the wretched man of Romans 7?
In some ways, that is like me asking, "Am I a husband or a pastor?" The answer, of course, is that I am both. At times the roles are in conflict with one another, though, fortunately, nothing near the conflict between being a new creation and the wretched sinner that I am. Of this conflict, Paul goes on to say, "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of sin? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7.24-25)
Yes, the only solution is found in Christ. While the Tigers' hopes are found in minor leaguers (and a few trade prospects), our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father ... that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength, ... that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3.14-20)
We are all under reconstruction. This is necessary because, just as baseball players get old and highways deteriorate, the forces of evil (the devil, the world and our sinful flesh) are constantly at work in and around us. Through his Word at work in us - that is Christ Jesus, our Redeemer - God is at work repairing and rebuilding us ... making us into his new creation. And then, with his additional work in us through the Holy Christian Church, we see how he "is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to (his) power at work in us." (Ephesians 7.20)
Though it may feel as though we are on a see-saw, his promise is clear ... our reconstruction is secure in Christ Jesus.