Wednesday evening my youngest son, Sean, and I celebrated our birthdays in our own little tradition. We went to a Cincinnati Reds baseball game. With his birthday being on August 8 and mine on August 10 we chose August 9 as the logical night for the game. We were both very happy that we did. Not only did we get to see a wonderful game but we also hit one of those special giveaways that the Reds have every so often. We also hit a break as we had driven through a downpour on the way north to the game, but it never rained a drop for the game.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Let me elaborate. They were calling for scattered showers in the Cincy area. We had been having some small showers here in Georgetown so there was a real threat. At 5:30 that afternoon we were getting close to Cincinnati when we went through a huge cloudburst. Visibility was greatly reduced. Sean looked at me with that, “Oh great!”, look on his face and I just reminded him that it was still an hour and a half before the game started. When we finally got to the park and got parked it was sunny and really quite pleasant. Perfect.

Once we entered the ballpark we got the first surprise. It was Davey Concepcion bobblehead doll night. Everyone who entered the park got a free bobblehead doll of Davey Concepcion, the shortstop of the Big Red Machine era of the Reds and a former All Star Game Most Valuable Player. For me it was perfect. Concepcion is easily my all-time favorite infielder for the Reds and quite possibly my favorite Reds player. I even used to wear the same number as Concepcion for the same reason; 13 just to prove that I was not superstitious.

Then there was the game. We could not have chosen a better game to see. We were there to watch the Reds play the Cardinals in what was truly to be the pivotal game of the series. If the Reds lost that night they could have finished the series with the Cards farther behind them than they were going into the series. The Reds are in second place behind the Cardinals in the NL Central Division. They started the series three and one half games back. With a win on our night they would ensure themselves of being no worse at the end of the series on Thursday. They won in dramatic fashion as catcher David Ross hit a ninth inning walk off homerun to win the game by one run. It was a perfect trip to the ballpark for a dad and his son.

Perfect. We use that word about almost everything except us as Christians. We’re almost afraid of the word. Bumper stickers reveal our fear of being perfect with phrases such as “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” God disagrees. “All scripture is given by God’s inspiration, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God might be perfect (complete, not lacking anything), thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17 Why should we be afraid of being what God has given scripture and His own Son that we might become?