Monday, January 4, 2016
The Reconfigured Life
With all of the festivities surrounding Christmas and New Years over the month of December, you might have missed one of the major pieces of news related to Major League Baseball in the United States. Pete Rose, former team member of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team, and three time NL batting champion (with a total of 4,256 hits from 1963-1986, topping Ty Cobb's batting record of 4,191) was denied entry once again into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. I can discern your collective depressed sigh even here at my computer in Camarillo:-). Citing strong proof about Pete Rose's continued gambling and evidence that he bet on baseball games, even after he was ejected from the game for life in 1989, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said that Rose had not sufficiently shown enough evidence that he had reformed his ways.
As a side note, my own great uncle (by marriage), Maury Wills, former all star baseball player with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who has also been consistently denied entry into the baseball Hall of Fame for different reasons than betting (drug abuse), it must be said HAS shown a much higher level of personal remorse and contrition for his personal behavior while playing major league baseball than Pete Rose.
But I digress....
Actually, Commissioner Manfred's exact wording of his statement about Pete Rose is the entire focus of this blogpost: Here it is; "Mr Rose has not presented credible evidence of A RECONFIGURED LIFE either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established in the Dowd report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent eligibility in 1989."
A Reconfigured Life!
A Reconfigured Life. I love that. As a pastor, I am constantly trying to come up with new ways to describe the Christian conversion experience and journey. So many of the well worn phrases that we all know so well have become tired with overuse and lack of thought. Phrases such as;
Dyed in the Blood of Jesus
often ring hallowly in the ear, or more likely "clunk" (especially for outsiders to the faith). They have become tired cliches. Just to be clear, these aforementioned phrases still carry meaning and weight when used with intention and focus. However, I am still struck by the concept of a...
I like it for so many reasons. First, it doesn't suggest that our lives are something that we ourselves reconfigure. God reconfigures them (Metanoya - Repentance, to use another old chestnut phrase of the faith) from above. I also like the notion of reconfiguration, in general. Reconfiguration suggests that the same materials are used, but they are - Reconfigured. A Lego set, for example, gets reconfigured each time someone plays with it. A Christmas Nativity scene gets reconfigured every December. The same pieces are used, but they are put together in a different way.
And scientists tell us that atoms, reconfigured in different ways, actually create different substances. Reconfiguration can imply adding certain things that change the entire organic makeup of a thing. For example, the difference between H2O and Hydrogen Dioxide is the placement of a small change of atoms - Reconfigured.
One of my pet peeves of Christianity is the notion, by some, that when we become Christ followers that we become totally new beings. And to be sure, the Bible tells us that we are a, "New Creation". However, as all of us know, when we become Christ followers, as much as we become something new, there is also much that remains the same. And that's why, as Paul says, "We do what we do not want to do." We are the same people we ever were but we are - but we are Reconfigured. When we become Christ followers, the same old us, meets a brand new Christ, and Holy Spirit and we become Reconfigured. We have...
All For Now,