The last year we lived in Bellville, Ohio I had the privilege to write a sports column under the nom de plume of Da Wiffer. It gave me the opportunity to look into some sports matters a bit more deeply and ask questions that most sports aficionados don't ask. The year was 1991. One column that I wrote stood out that year because it made the natives angry.
The Cincinnati Reds were the reigning champions of baseball having swept the vaunted Oakland A's of "Bash Brothers" fame in four games. The Cleveland Indians had played possibly the best baseball of their careers and has finished strongly with an eye toward next year. My problem was what I saw in those two teams. I stuck my neck out and said that the Indians would return to the cellar in the American League East while the Reds would have to struggle if they were to finish third.
The same people who were excited about the column suddenly became angry. The people of Bellville were long standing Indians fans who said things like, "Who is this Wiffer anyway that he thinks he can tell us what the Indians will do? Their gonna challenge for the AL East pennant this year." Meanwhile, in my own family there was unrest and dissension. My sons were sure I was on something considering that I didn't pick the Reds to win it all again since they did so handily the year before.
My two picks to win their respective leagues and compete in the World Series were the Atlanta Braves, whom I described as a jigsaw puzzle (all the pieces are there if someone can just find the box top so they know how they fit together), and the Minnesota Twins, whom I felt had the right mix of pitching and offense to win it all under fifth year manager, Tom Kelly. Following the season I looked at my detractors with solemn dignity as the Reds finished fourth in their division and the Indians dropped to dead last while the Twins beat the Braves in the World Series. Discernment. That year I was right on.
Discernment is important. If we are to live as God wishes us to live we have to have discernment. It's not that difficult to possess. It starts with the Word of God. "For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword, peircing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 God has given us the Living Word (Jesus Christ) recorded in the written Word (the Bible) that we might be able to discern life as He intends it.
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