Like many in our city and around the nation, I have been missing a good deal of sleep during the Royals run to the World Series championship. While my body is a bit fatigued and my nerves still frayed, my mind and heart are basking in the joy of watching a baseball team that is not only worth cheering, but emulating in life.
Dayton Moore, Ned Yost and the entire coaching staff are to be commended for creating a team culture that brought out the best in everyone. While the Royals are a very talented bunch, I believe what made this team extra special was how they loved. It seems to me the Royals got their loves rightly ordered. First, they loved their work. Dayton Moore and his staff very intentionally put a team on the field that loved playing baseball. Many of them exuded the contagious passion of a group of teenagers playing little league baseball. Yes, the Royals received large paychecks for their work, but more than merely putting money in the bank, they loved putting the ball in play on the field. Second, they loved the teammates they worked with. Relief pitcher Chris Young said it well when asked about the Royals stunning success. This veteran pitcher who had seen much of the good, the bad and the ugly of professional baseball looked the interviewer in the eye and with a breaking smile the size of his breaking ball Chris Young said, “the guys love each other.” Third, the Royals loved the fans that kept pouring into Kauffman stadium cheering them on to some amazing comeback victories. With the Royals the game was never over until the very last out. The fans fed the players optimism and fueled their confidence that they would ultimately prevail.
It is no secret that I love the game of baseball, but I also love these amazing Royals because they have taught me so much about life. Not that life is about winning some prestigious championship or achieving notable success as wonderful as that may be, but that life is about loving rightly. So I have been thinking, do I really love the work God has called me to do? Do I truly love those God has called me to work with everyday? And do I gratefully love family members, friends and encouragers in my life who cheer me on to be all that God has created me to be and do in this broken and needy world?
As a church family on mission together, let’s not only enjoy the Royals amazing run to a World Series championship, let’s also take heart to what they have taught us about loving rightly.