First of all, if you haven‘t read Trevor’s post from yesterday Bedtime, College Football and the Future of Sacred Margins, I suggest you do so now. It’s beautiful and will give you some perspective on where we’re heading.
I love baseball. The crack of the bat and the pop of the glove. The leisurely, everyday pace. The smell of the grass. The spring weather.
They count everything in baseball. Homeruns. Outs. Errors. RBIs. Fielding Percentage. Everywhere you look you see numbers. There are books and books written about the numbers of baseball. Entire sites are dedicated to their deep examination.
Even more, every player is defined by the numbers they produce. Ricky Henderson’s 1,406 stolen bases. Hank Aaron’s 755 homeruns. Nolan Ryan’s 5,714 strikeouts. Or even Mario Mendoza’s pitiful .215 batting average. We compare and contrast players across generations through the numbers that are attached to their names.
Here’s the thing about all these numbers, though. I can recite that Willie Mays won 12 Gold Gloves, but that doesn’t begin to describe the way he played the outfield. It doesn’t show you the grace and speed he had when tracking down a ball in center. Simply reading the stats on the back of his baseball card can’t convey something like this:
Numbers can’t tell the entire story.
If this is true, then why do we continually define ourselves this way?
We all have our numbers, don’t we? We have the number on the bathroom scale, the number in our checkbook and the number of our address. We have the numbers that we produce at work. Somehow we think that these numbers added up bring us definition and meaning. And this is understandable because so much of our time and energy is invested in these numbers.
Just knowing these numbers doesn’t tell me who you are. They might give me some hints as to what your occupation is or how you spend your time. But they cannot tell me what makes you laugh. Or what you are passionate about. They can’t tell the story of your first kiss or that time you had your heart broken. Those numbers can’t express your deep desires – your hopes or your dreams.
You are much more than your numbers.
This is why the liturgical year has such an appeal for me. I want to orient my days and weeks so that I have rhythm with God. I want to tap into something that is deep and meaningful. I want to see my life through a different lens.
I want to seek out better definitions for my life.
So we hope you join us as we venture through this year. Because this is about so much more than ritual or tradition. We hope that as we explore seasons like Advent and Epiphany or Lent and Easter that we will all be blessed to find better ways to view ourselves and the world. That we find better clarity and significance.
Because we are all so much more than our numbers.