The Work of Anticipation
In Minnesnowta, it maybe hasn’t felt like baseball season, but baseball season is in full swing anyway. (Pun intended.) I’ll admit: I’m a bit of a fair weather fan with the Twins. I think the ridiculously long season gets to me. (I’ve heard it’s long for the players too, and they get paid for it. So I don’t feel too bad…)
I’ve heard quite a few people over the years ask what the role of the manager is in baseball.
What does the manager actually do?
They just eat seeds and throw periodical temper tantrums. How hard can that be!?!
So it turns out that being a manager is a bit more complex than that….
Among other things, the manager has a unique role in placing players in the right position. Each position on the field requires a unique skill set and, unless your name is Joe Mauer, a manager can’t place any player in any position and expect to see positive results. (As example: See “Michael Cuddyer as 3rd baseman.”)
The centerfielder is the captain of the outfield. He must have speed, covering large spans of the field in little amounts of time. He must have an ability to throw the ball accurately over a long distance. (For another [bad] example, see “Jacque Jones throws to home plate.”) Being so far from the action, he must be able to concentrate.
One of the most crucial skills to possess as a good centerfielder is good instincts and it’s something you can’t really teach. At the snap of the ball off the bat, a good centerfielder knows exactly where the ball is going. They put their heads down and sprint to where the ball is going, looking up only at the very end to see the ball into their gloves.
It’s a remarkable thing, really. They anticipate flawlessly, positioning themselves perfectly for where they need to be (even before the ball is hit) to make the catch.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to live as anticipators of the world to come. Living out as anticipators of the world to come requires, then, calculation and movement on the part of followers of Jesus Christ. It means implementing and reflecting what’s already taken place—mimicking, so to speak, the life and love of Jesus Christ—of self-sacrifice and emptying ourselves out for the sake of others, taking up our crosses daily and following Him, of seeking justice and beauty, and instilling faith, hope and love just as Christ first loved us.
It requires us to practice resurrection!
We need resurrection in our marriages and relationships. We need resurrection in our workplaces and classrooms. We need resurrection in the arts, on the radio and on the big screen. We need resurrection in our cities and suburbs and farms and towns. We need resurrection to creep into every nook and every cranny of our lives.
Jesus came to make all things new. And with Jesus’ death and resurrection, the dawning of this age has already happened. And it’s happening.
Every marriage reconciled…
Every well dug in Jesus name….
Every song for the Creator composed…
Every garden planted….
Every youth mentored…
Every woman and child rescued from sex trafficking…
Every businessman/woman instilling Christ ethics in corporate America…
Is resurrection. Is living as anticipators.
It’s easy to separate and compartmentalize our lives as to what’s “sacred” and what’s “secular.” But that’s not how the Kingdom operates.
All things made new.
In light of Easter, it’s a great reminder that, as Christians, we’re called—all of us—to live as anticipators.
To practice Resurrection.