|Alan Craig of my home-town St. Louis Cardinals, called safe at home after the ump ruled "Obstruction" by the Red Sox third baseman, scoring the winning run in the ninth inning of World Series Game Three in St. Louis|
It occurred to me last night that this World Series Game Three thing is analogous to much of what we deal with in the Church.
"That was a judgment call! That was an arbitrary rule interfering with the outcome of a game!" Red Sox fans and others are shouting.
Well, this attitude implies that all "judgment" is arbitrary. The goal of judgement or prudence is to align our decision with what's objectively true.
In this case, the ump did just that. He applied a rule that is far from arbitrary: it's a rule that guarantees the integrity of the game; and in doing so, he saw to it that one team was not cheated out of a just and fair outcome by another team.
The Sox feel cheated by the ump ruling that one of their players obstructed one of our players. But had the ump not called that, the Cardinals would not have simply "felt" cheated; we would have "been" cheated. The play in question was classic Obstruction - though unintentional ("intent" has no bearing on Obstruction). And the ump had the courage to call it.
But we don't like form or constraint. We hate "rules" and since we don't understand that no game can be played without "rules", and also since we can't see that this was the right call to make, regardless of which team benefited, or whether this was a call at the end of the game (as it was) or somewhere in the middle, at one of the other bases - we don't want to admit that what's right is right, at all times, under all circumstances. Even in Game Three of the World Series.
And it's more than just Boston Red Sox fans who feel this way.
It's pretty much everyone in church alongside you this morning.