Yesterday, we found ourselves at an Atlanta Braves Baseball game. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had at a professional sports game. Even though I am not a fan of the Braves, I found myself quickly rooting for them. In fact, they made it easy to do so.
From the moment we walked into the stadium they were reminding us of the wins the team had the weekend before. They were giving away gift cards. The attendants welcomed us into our seats with smiles. They revved the organ up to lead us in chants and charges to root the Braves on. The wave and chop worked its way around the stadium. Even hot Chick-fila sandwiches could be bought from vendors. They had family fun zones and constantly zoomed in on smiling faces of fans on the jumbo-tron.
It was an atmosphere of hope and winning. I love these kind of atmospheres! I love it when people believe that their team can win and has a great shot to do so. Injecting hope is a value I have tried to live out in my life as a husband, father, pastor, and leader.
My son Isaiah and I both came to the game with our baseball gloves, we were ready to catch a home run ball during batting practice and during the game. Many times during the game I leaned over and said to Isaiah these words "this guy can go yard, so be ready to catch one. "He would look back and hold up his glove that was on his hand and say "Dad, I am ready!"
That is what hope can do for you. It keeps you on the edge of your seat ready and waiting at any moment for someone to hit it out of the park! Boy, do we need a good dose of that in our Christian circles today! A fresh injection of hope to a world that is longing for answers. I wonder what would happen if we stripped the doom and gloom and critical spirits that lace our tongues about the church and replaced it with a fresh spunky dose of hope?
I think I know what would happen, an atmosphere of winning would surface and people would run to the God who likes hitting it out of the park. And we would walk away with a "big ball of hope in our empty gloves!"
Masters of Self: Cultivating Gentleness in an Age of Outrage - [image: Masters of Self] *ABSTRACT:* We live in an age of outrage, an age when anger inflames our public discourse, disrupts our families, and distorts the...