I figured I should explain the title of my blog, "Wandering in the Desert," a little more than the description at the top of the page. It didn't occur to me that some readers would find it funny, but my aunt emailed me today and said she had to chuckle when she read it. When I take it out of context, it does sound really funny, and random. But there is a much deeper meaning . . .
I should give a little background first. I began to realize the similarities between our lives in professional baseball, and those of the Israelites, about 2 months ago. The Chicago Cubs had just released Brian and I was talking with my cousin, Terri, venting my frustration. She asked me, "Lindsay, do you and Brian ever feel like the Israelites, wandering through the desert?" I thought, yes! That's exactly how we feel. It's like we're laboring through a dry, hot desert hoping to get to the promised land soon.
Before I go any further, let me clarify a few things. Brian and I have absolutely loved the experiences God has afforded us through professional baseball. We get to travel all over the country, see new places, meet wonderful people that enrich our lives, and make some incredible memories! So when I refer to our journey through baseball as "wandering in the desert," I mean it strictly from a professional standpoint.
To begin, let me briefly explain the Israelites journey to the promised land. Please excuse this inadequate summarization, but for time's sake, I must be brief.
Ok, so God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt and promised to lead them to "a good land - with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees . . . a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing," aka the "promised land." From what I understand, as the Israelites traveled, they were rather stubborn, foolish, outright rebellious, and constantly doubting God's promises (much like we do sometimes). So God allowed them wander around in the desert for forty years as He taught them lesson after lesson. He also did it to test their hearts. Moses tells the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:2 that, "God led you all the way in the desert these 40 years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart." Eventually, after a lot of teaching and disciplining, God held up his end of the deal and deliverd them into the promised land.
So, here Brian and I are on this exciting, yet unexpectedly emotionally difficult journey through professional baseball. At times Brian and I wonder if he will ever get to realize his dream of pitching in the major leagues, or if our earthly promised land is something totally different and unexpected. Whatever the case may be, I am thankful for the lessons God teaches us along the way. I know He is preparing us for something. We've certainly had our weak moments when we've questioned and doubted God's plan, just as the Israelites did. But God has proven Himself to be faithful, and He is worthy of our trust no matter what our circumstance.
Unfortunately, baseball is a deceptive, immoral, and selfish business. Sounds harsh, I know. It's the greatest game on earth, and yet the more I learn about the way it is run, the more disappointed I am. However, none of that really matters because while people will always fall short, myself included, God and His plan for our lives remains perfect. I never want to be ok with the fact that professional baseball has some very unethical practices. But I also never want to be bitter about what happens to us as a result, because it is actually God who directs our path, not the people in baseball. Every time something disappointing happens I feel like God asks me, "Lindsay, how will you respond?" In times of crisis, I hear these questions - What will I choose to believe? What will my attitude be? Will it reflect my faith in the Lord? I realize that it must, and that it is quite possible that God is allowing this crisis "in order to test me, and see what is in my heart."
So as Brian and I wander through the desert, greeted by trials and spiritual battles, I cling to Moses' words of encouragement to the Israelites. He said, "The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you . . . before your very eyes . . . in the desert."