Relationship browsing by tag


August 14

Monday, August 14th, 2023

I had a dream once of playing professional baseball. Like most kids growing up near Pittsburgh, it was either baseball or football. I latched onto baseball. I loved it when my dad would take us to a Sunday doubleheader at Forbes Field where I could watch the Pirates play whomever.  I was at a game and that was all that counted. That dream died when I realized I wasn’t good enough but I still loved the game of baseball. (I had that same dream about basketball. Other than a cranky back and old knees, you can see where that got me!). I took up cycling in the 70s and became more serious in the 80s. I can no longer play baseball or basketball, but I can still cycle! 🙂 I get my kicks now watching my grandson play baseball and football.

Several years ago my brother gave me a book called Sermon on the Mound by Michael O’Connor. I recently decided to get the book off the shelf and read it in its entirety. Mr. O’Connor had/has a love affair with baseball. Early on in his book, Mr. O’Connor was writing about his love for baseball and its importance in his life. He wrote something which struck me:

“Organized religion, ironically, had a hand in my spiritual undoing. I think God is as comfortable with religion as the Rockettes are in Levi’s. That’s because, although He is interested in our buildings, our financial stewardship, our liturgy-all those things that hold an appropriate place within the fellowship and kingdom of God-He’s not hung up on them. God is primarily concerned with relationship. He love us, not our stuff. He longs for us to return to Him that same love.” (p.20-21)

There are discussions about religion vs relationship going on all the time. For or against. While religion is a term used in church vernacular, it carries a weight around with it that is hard to bear. It speaks of rules and regulations, of heavy-handedness, of misery.

Relationship, on the other hand, carries with it a freshness, a closeness, an openness determined not by “have to” but by “want to.” Because of that thinking, I would most definitely agree with Mr. O’Connor. I would much rather have a relationship with Jesus than a religion.

What say you? Even deeper, what would you say you have?