The Chicago Cubs won the World Series this week! I have been a Cubs fan now for about 50 years. Between the ages of 5 – 8 I lived just outside of Chicago in a small town called Carpentersville. I remember my Dad taking me to see the Cubs v. the Phillies. At one point I had a baseball signed by some of those Cubs I think, and a bat signed by Ron Santo. I bought baseball cards at the supermarket. I watched baseball with Jack Brickhouse, played baseball in my back yard with my friend Steve who was a Sox fan. Back then, the Cubs were pretty good, and almost won their division when I was 8 in 1969, but of infamously collapsed near the end of the season. This was the time that the Cubs logo was branded on my young heart, and the idea of the Chicago Cubs became for me a colorful stimulus that interested me each summer. That visual image of the logo communicates to me hopefulness, excitement, beauty, and playtime. The impression is so strong that I wonder why other people can’t see it.
That childhood impression has amazing stimulus to my life today. It’s not a daily obsession; just enough to check the National League standings in the newspaper to see (usually) how far back in the standings they are from first place. And if I happen to be able to see the Cubs play on TV, then I usually take advantage. There are other team loyalties I picked up along the way, but none run as deep as the Cubs, I think because they were the first to take hold. The depth of emotion becomes proportionately weaker as the age of attachment increases.
The lessons of the logo and the idea of the Cubs team teach me about hope for the complete reign of Jesus coming one day to fully implement justice and mercy. It reminds me that it will actually happen, and I will wake up and say – Yes!
In 2003, the Cub fans treated Steve Bartman despicably when he interfered with a foul ball to hinder their effort at going to the World Series. In the same way, I am disappointed in myself and especially in others who identify with my Christian hope when they act in selfish hateful manner toward other people. But the truth of the idea, an entity unto itself, remains untarnished. The logo remains clean, as does the person of Jesus.