MONDAY MORNING REFLECTIONS – TIGHT RACES IN BASEBALL, PROPOSITION 8, DEADLIEST MONTH, SLEEPLESS IN LANDISVILLE

Baseball fans have stadiums full of excitement with less than two months (50 games) left in the 2010 season. Five of the six divisions in the two major leagues have divisional races where the leader and its chief contender are separated by two games or less. In the AL East, the Yankees and Tampa Bay are battling out for first place; the White Sox and the Twins in the Central Division. In the NL West the Padres lead the Giants by one, the Braves lead the Phils by one in the East, and the amazingly reborn Cincinnati Reds lead perennial power St. Louis by a game. Only in the AL West are the Texas Rangers (ironically on the auction block) starting to pull away from the pack. The Oakland Athletics are hanging around barely. My Tigers have just about self-hammered the last nail in their coffin; but the other team of my childhood, the Reds, are giving me something to cheer about.

Speaking of self-inflicted nails in their coffin, Tiger Woods shot his third straight over par round at the Bridgestone Open on Saturday, pretty much assuring that Phil Mickelson will be No. 1 in the world by week’s end. Tiger has owned this course so many times, but even his new found facial hair cannot seem to break the cycle of struggle that begin with his marital problems. Although I deplored his moral choices, he had been a lot of fun to watch. He’s not even fun to watch anymore (sort of like the Detroit Tigers.

Then there’s Afghanistan with last month being the bloodiest since we began trying to defeat Al Quaida and the Taliban in the crucial mountain nation. I have young men connected with my church family who are deployed there and we pray daily for their safety. The word quagmire is beginning to form itself in my thought patterns. Yet we know we are engaged in a life and death battle with an implacable enemy whose hatred of the West will keep them at war with us interminably unless we find a way to defeat them. Walking away is not an answer to this issue, but we need to find the will and the wisdom to pursue this war as effectively as possible. In the mean time, we are reading of the mental, relational, and even employment issues faced by our returning troops. We dare not abandon our responsibility to these men and women. Health care, rehab, counseling and jobs must be made available. This is an issue of integrity for us a nation.

Surprise! Surprise! A federal appeals judge in California has overturned Proposition 8. Once again the door is being opened for marriage between same sex couples. One cannot help but think that political correctness is trumping the nation’s spiritual health under the guise of constitutionality. All things may be lawful but are they wise? I suspect I’ll have some more reflections on this later.

I soon may be resorting to counting sheep. For more than a week I have suffered from a troubled sleep cycle. Some nights I only manage 2-3 hours before waking. And then I cannot go back to sleep. Sometimes power naps help, sometimes they hinder. Sleepless in Landisville doesn’t even merit a good plot. Seattle’s sleeplessness seemed a better story line. Right now I am just tired and have to figure out the best way to handle this. The only thing that has really benefited from my sleeplessness has been my blog production. You be the judge of whether or not it has been worth it.

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