“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV)
If any of you have ever been a baseball fan or followed a team for very long, you know about the high level of superstition that is associated with each team.
Years ago, long before Duck Dynasty, I was working in the office when Duck Commander was still located at Phil and Kay’s house. One day when the phone rang, I answered and on the other end of the line was a young man asking if he could order a very specific Duck Commander baseball cap. I apologized to him and told him that we no longer carried that hat but offered to sell him a different, very popular one. He then began to become a bit frantic. He told me that he was a minor-league baseball player, has been a Duck Commander fan for many years and that he had a big problem. He explained to me that for every game he had played, he kept the same Duck Commander baseball cap in the dugout. He went onto explain that he recently was called up to the major leagues and that when he went to get his lucky Duck Commander cap, someone had stolen it! This poor guy was not getting off the phone with me until I solved this very important problem! So, I asked him to hold, and I buzzed Jase to get on the phone with him to see if he had any ideas. Jase listened to this young man’s predicament and came up with a solution. He told him that, seeing that it was one of Jase’s favorite hats, we actually had the exact hat he was looking for in our closet at our house and that he would agree to send it to him at no charge. Jase also told him that if he became successful in the major leagues to remember us and invite us to a game sometime.
That young man was Adam Laroche, who was called up by the Atlanta Braves and who went onto become one of the top MLB players of our time. Obviously, we went to quite a few of those games. Today he and his wife, Jen, are some of our very good friends.
(Jase and Adam speaking at a benefit in Adam's hometown)
Today, as I write this blog, Jase is on his way to Omaha to watch the LSU Tigers play in the championship games of the College World Series. We have been fortunate to get to know some of the boys, the staff and Coach Paul Mainieri and his wife Karen. If you’ve watched LSU at all the last two seasons, you’ll know about the Rally Possum and the Beach Ball superstitions. Even Miss Karen, Coach Mainieri’s wife, gets into it. When Jase and I were there a few weeks ago, I gave her an exclusive Laminin bracelet with purple beads and a gold bar as a gesture of thanks for always being so hospitable to us when we want to come watch a game. Being the energetic, gracious, kind-hearted, easily-excitable, ray-of-sunshine person she is, she immediately put it on and oohed and aahed over it. She looked at me and said, “I haven’t been able to figure out the right combination of jewelry this season. Maybe this is it!” She followed that by telling me the stats of the season, where they stood in the SEC standings and how some of the boys were doing. I loved that! She not only was there to show support for her husband and his job, but she showed that she is a true LSU fan, that she believed whole-heartedly in this team and was so excited to see how the season would unfold. That definitely has to help her husband in, what I would assume, can be a highly stressful job. And she was having fun doing it!
(Mrs Karen Mainieri in Omaha with her "good luck charms", as she calls them)
Isn’t it great to know that in Christ, we don’t have to find the perfect combination of outside forces? There’s no stepping over the chalk line for fear of bad luck. No using the wrong marker to fill out the line-up. Not even finding the exact right cap to keep in the dugout. For those of us who have put on Jesus as Lord, we have the added bonus of being marked with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 says, “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” His Spirit inhabits our body, He lives inside of us, and helps us navigate through this life. He knocks on our heart and reminds us of making right decisions that glorify the Son of God.
Yes, superstitions are fun, but they won’t change your life. The Holy Spirit, Jesus, God the Father. They’re the only combination we need.
Oh, and by the way, LSU has lost only one game since Miss Karen put that bracelet on her wrist. However, seeing our ace pitcher and his pitching coach put their arms around each other, bow their heads and pray for strength and guidance from their Creator before walking onto the mound has been the highlight of this LSU fan club.
(Alex Lange and his pitching coach praying before the game)
The Tiger may be the seal of the LSU sports teams, but when Alex put on his Lord in baptism a few weeks ago, the Holy Spirit became the seal on this ace pitcher's heart.
Have an UP-lifting week and Geaux Tigers!