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Archive for September, 2010

“You Gotta Believe” became the passionate phrase of the formerly hapless New York Mets during their “Miracle Years.”

Fast forward a couple of decades to September 11, 2010. Despite a hopeless season, I went to see the New York Mets with a friend.

When you’re a Yankees fan, you expect to win. When you’re a Mets fan, you expect a surprise. The surprise could come in witnessing the Mets hit into two, count ’em two, double plays on hit-and-runs to the outfield. Never in my life … oh, never mind. It’s the Mets. Another surprise was such a well-pitched game by the Mets against a strong Phillies’ team.
But the surprise I didn’t like was the hopelessness of the Mets fans. No more “Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose” to the tune of “oLay, oLay, oLay, oLay” whenever the spunky Jose Reyes would get up to the plate. Not even after he put one in the upper deck – another surprise. No more, “Let’s go Mets!” I even stood up a few times and tried to get my section going; like spittin’ in the wind. No more wave. It was dead, despite a cloudless 80-degree afternoon game. Oh, there were plenty of fans there. But they were almost stubborn in their insistent silence. One fan told me it’s because, “The Mets gave up, so we fans have given up as well.” That’s hopelessness. Unfortunately, that sounds like a lot of marriages.
The final surprise was seeing the Mets pull the game out after almost blowing a four-run lead in the eighth (no surprise there). With a man on third, the reliever got the final out by the skin of his teeth. Mets win 4-3 (now pay attention to those two numbers, they come up again).
Even the New York firefighters provided us with a 911 Surprise with one of the best versions of the national anthem sung by a uniformed female New York City firefighter. 
Driving home, my wife called me to tell me that there would be two spotlights at Ground Zero shining up toward the sky. Getting stuck in traffic on the Whitestone Bridge, I looked to my left and there was a sight I’ll never forget. I could see the entire city skyline with the Empire State Building topped in red, white and blue. A crescent moon positioned itself between Ground Zero and the Empire State Building and then I saw it… a sign of hope. Two prominent lines of light hit the clouds. Where there was no building, these two beams declared, “There will be.”
I thought of myself, standing up, clapping and yelling, “Let’s Go Mets!” I felt it was like those two lights: declaring something as if it is. Not denying a bad season for the Mets or a devastating blow like 911. But hoping for a rebirth.
The next morning I read of a diamond quite different from a baseball diamond. In Revelation 4:3 (remember those numbers?), I was stirred by the picture of heaven. Like the beams of light that promise a new and greater reality for Ground Zero, this scripture described a scene of  something greater than our present world of hapless baseball teams and horrific terrorism. 
“And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” Rev 4:3
I won’t be standing alone cheering that Champion.
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I’ve been blessed with a fourth-story in my home. It boasts quite a spectacular panoramic view. An old friend stopped by to climb up there to witness the beautiful sunrise. As he was sitting there, more than the new day dawned on him.

Staring into the eastern sky, he blurted, “You know, you don’t always see this, but it’s been there all along.”
I had been thinking the same thing lately. The majestic is always there, but you have to get yourself into a position to be arrested by it. He mentioned that he sometimes has to ride his bike from his house in order to get to a clearing near Walmart to catch the rising sun. He made it sound a little too down-to-earth when he referred to Walmart; a bit anti-climatic.
To his GREAT credit, he chased after the east. Many don’t even know where the east is. Worst yet, many don’t care to see the sun come up…oblivious to the times, clueless of the romancing God who cares enough to give us a literal wake-up call every morning.
There are infinite analogies in a sunrise. Scripture sings of mercies that are new every morning. And anyone who has ever had a bad yesterday gets a “do-over” in God’s wonderful system.
Yes, majesty shines forth all around us. But you must begin somewhere. Why not ask, “Where’s the east around here?”
A few years ago, I looked out from the Mount of Olives and just stared at the East Gate of Jerusalem. Some may speculate that He will enter from there. Yet, no one knows the time or the exact entry way of the return of Jesus Christ. “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:26,27 
Some sleepers will be “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (Matthew 24:38).
So, if you’re one to make sure the blinds of your soul are down so you won’t be woken up, you may miss The Son come up. I’d rather have to travel to a Walmart parking lot than miss “His Majesty.”

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