Winning Streaks

Turner Field

It’s nice when you can string a few wins together. As I write, my beloved Atlanta Braves have won 12 consecutive games and have one of the best records in baseball. I know as soon as this post is published the Braves will be guaranteed to lose their next game. But I remember 1988 when the Braves lost the first 10 games of the season and seemed as if they’d never get any wins, so I say anyone who’s hoping for more is just being greedy.

When teams are on big winning streaks, you’ll hear players and coaches and announcers talk about the different atmosphere in the clubhouse. Lighthearted optimism is the order of the day. It’s all smiles and jokes and pats on the back. Pressure becomes a foreign word. And mistakes are easily put in the rear view mirror.

At church we often use the language of struggle and challenge to describe the way life really works and offer Christ and Christian community as a way to cope with and overcome the problems of the “real world.” It’s like we’re perpetually trying to break out of a rut or end a losing streak. We always seem to be encouraging people to try and string a few wins together, but often the winning streak seems just out of reach.

Maybe it’s time to realize that as Christians we’re in the middle of a pretty big winning streak already. For more than 2000 years the kingdom of God has advanced unabated from a tiny group of followers to a phenomenon that shapes cultures across the globe. And even when the occasional loss comes our way, we have a BIG advantage over the Braves. We know who’s going to win at the end of the season. We know we’ll be in the celebrating locker room when the champion is crowned.

In the middle of a winning streak, players are always happy to share the credit. And we know that God often produces good results in spite of us rather than because of us. But somehow we keep winning. So let mistakes fade into the past. Share a few smiles. Tell a few jokes. Give a few pats on the back. And let the lighthearted optimism of a resurrected savior infect all that you do.

Oh yeah…And GO BRAVES.

“Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” -Colossians 3:17

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