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FIRST PERSON: The law of improbability
by Gordon Cloud
Date: Oct 3, 2011

CAIRO, Ga. (BP)--It is with a heavy heart that I will follow the baseball postseason this year. As an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves, I watched in disbelief as an eight-and-a-half game lead in the National League wild-card race evaporated.

I am not alone in my grieving. The Red Sox nation is also gnashing its teeth after Boston let a nine-game lead slip away in their own wild-card race in the American League. We will spend the postseason and the off-season pondering what might have been if our team had just taken care of business.

To make matters worse, both teams blew leads in their final game which, if won, would have at least given one more day, one more chance to secure a win in a one-game playoff.

Fans of the New York Mets can now hold their heads a little higher. Their team no longer is alone in historic crashes.

I am not a psychologist, neither do I pretend to know what is in the minds and hearts of such teams. I don’t know if there was a problem with cockiness or complacency, or perhaps it was just a cold streak. I do know, however, that a month ago, no one outside of Tampa or St. Louis was contemplating the demise of the two teams who seemed to have comfortable, if not insurmountable, leads for the last playoff spot.

There is a reason they play the games, though. It is the law of improbability. Anything can happen, and this time it did.

A lesson can be learned from this, and not just from sports teams. None of us are above colossal failures in life. We are reminded of 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Wherefore let him that standeth take heed lest he fall.”

As we recall the tragic story of the moral failure of King David’s life, we are struck with the amazing improbability of such a scandal occurring in the life of a man who was a devoted worshipper of God.

It happened.

Many great sermons have been preached on the cause of David’s sin, I will not repeat them here. It remains, though, that a man who had lived above reproach for most of his life succumbed to the temptation that nearly destroyed his family.

The lesson for us is, let us never think that we have life “in the bag”. There is always the law of improbability that nips at our heels, dogging our sinful human nature with the same determination that the Cardinals and the Rays demonstrated during the last month of this baseball season.

Let us take care of business in our life. Let us walk in the Spirit so that we can overcome the lust of the flesh. Let us love God with all of our heart so that we do not love the world. Let us be overcomers so that we may be spared the agony of wondering what might have been.

A crown of life waits for the faithful.
Gordon Cloud is pastor of Pine Bark Baptist Church in Cairo, Ga.

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