It’s almost summer and that means it’s time for hotdogs, lemonade, and baseball!
Now, when I was younger, I played a lot of baseball in the backyard with my brother and the other neighborhood kids. I was part-time coach, part-time right fielder – and full-time heckler. “Hey batter, batter…” These days I enjoy cheering on the Omaha StormChasers and the Kansas City Royals – I’m a fan even when they’re losing which has been quite a bit this season. ☹
There is so much I enjoy about the game itself, but I also love the atmosphere – the cheering crowds, the smell of popcorn, and traditions like the 7th Inning Stretch. Now, here this is what I discovered about that tradition of the game…
Baseball’s 7th Inning Stretch started on April 14, 1910 when President William Howard Taft attended the opening day game against the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics at Griffith Stadium. In The 7th Inning Stretch – A Historical Perspective by Michael Aubrecht he writes, “According to reports, as the game continued to drag on, the six-foot-two president grew increasingly uncomfortable in the small wooden chair that was no doubt weaning under the weight of its presidential patron. By the middle of the seventh-inning, Taft was unable to bear the pain any longer and stood up to stretch his aching legs. In those days, the leader of the free world commanded a tremendous amount of reverence and as his fellow spectators noticed him rising, they followed his lead as a sign of respect. A few minutes later, Taft returned to his seat and the game resumed.”
This 100+ year tradition started with one man’s aching legs and his need to stand and stretch – fascinating! Now, have you ever felt the same need to take a break?
Well, in Psalm 62:5-7 we hear this invitation,
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress; I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.”
This summer I encourage you to take some time for a 7th Inning Stretch – to take a break from what you’re doing so that you can stand up and stretch your legs. Take a break from work, take a break from stress, take a break from worry, and instead find your rest in God who is your hope, your fortress, your mighty rock, and your refuge. There is more to life than being productive so, start enjoying those moments of rest and renewal. After all, it’s almost summer!
In Christ, Pastor Rebecca