Sports, like religion, offer these consolations: A diversion from the routine of daily life; a model of coherence and clarity; a heroic example to admire and emulate, and a sense of drama and conflict in which nobody dies.
In baseball we begin and end at home. Home plate is not fourth base. Home is a concept
When a runner charges home we lean forward hoping to see the home plate umpire slash his arms downward signaling that the runner who may have crashed onto the ground in, in fact, safe. Isn’t that what we all want? I do. In my daily life I want whatever is bigger than me to see how fast I run, and how precariously I slide, and to say boldly, “She’s safe!”
Those who believe, whose faith is strong, accept that umpire/God at his gesture and stand up relieved. Some, like me, despite wanting it still struggle to trust. I have --over and over-- sensed that “safe” signal, but I am often still unsure. It’s as if I go back and run the bases again, skidding and scuffing. Again he signals, “Safe!” but again I go to bat.
What baseball offers that life does not is the agreement that we will believe it when we are told that we are home and that we really are safe.