What a series it’s been this year! Pitcher’s duels, 13-12 Game 5 – we have seen a little bit of everything. (Except those of you who are DirecTV customers in certain parts of southwest Louisiana…)

Reading this morning about tonight’s game, I came across an article on that talks about the pitching decisions that will have to be made tonight. Tonight’s starters, McCullers, Jr. & Darvish, are strong pitchers with a tremendous amount of skill who have done great things for their teams this year. However, there’s always discussion before a Game 7 about who will be available in relief should the starter falter. From the article:

The Astros’ plan is to have everyone available behind McCullers, which means Game 6 starter Justin Verlander could pitch and Game 5 starter Dallas Keuchel will definitely be ready to go in the bullpen.

“I think all of our guys will have the adrenaline on their side,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “They are all going to be ready.”

Keuchel, who started Game 5 on Sunday in Houston, will be available probably for 30 or 40 pitches. Normally during the season, after two days’ rest, Wednesday would be his throw day. Keuchel would not put a pitch limit on how much he could be used.

“It’s Game 7,” Keuchel said. “I’ll empty the tank.”

Notice Keuchel’s attitude – “It’s Game 7; I’ll empty the tank.” He will not put a limit on how much he can be used. This attitude is not limited to the Astros’ staff. Dodgers’ Game 5 starter Clayton Kershaw:

Should Darvish struggle in Game 7, the Dodgers could go to their ace, Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw was in the bullpen in Game 6 and will definitely be down there again in Game 7.

“Same thing as tonight,” Kershaw said after Game 6. “I’ll be in the bullpen and ready to go in the first inning. Whatever they need.”

Kershaw joked that he could give the team 27 innings. He would be pitching on two days of rest after throwing 94 pitches in Game 5, when he allowed six runs in 4⅔ innings.

“I’ll be in the bullpen and ready in the first inning.” Like Keuchel, it’s not about him – it’s about what the team needs and giving everything he has to help do what needs to be done to get the win on a stage that every little boy who has ever picked up a glove has at one time or another dreamed of – getting the ball for Game 7.

Christ told his followers that the bottom line is that we are to love the Lord our God with everything we have and our neighbors as ourselves. As it is translated in more than a couple of versions, we are to love with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. What would our lives look like if we had the same attitude towards living the Christian life that the Astros’ and Dodgers’ pitchers had for Game 7?

After all, two words command the attention of the sports world – Game 7 – and results in everyone giving everything they have for the win.

You and I have something much bigger than Game 7 to inspire us to give everything we have – we have the cross upon which Christ died so that we might be reconciled and redeemed to and by the Lord our God. There is a reason why a cross has a prominent place in our worship spaces – God’s love commands our full devotion and everything we have to give. Not because we have to, but because we want to in response to Christ’s love.

Two guys are headed to the mound tonight for almost every little boy’s dream scenario, with a raft of guys behind them ready to do whatever it takes. May you and I approach the commanding presence of God’s love incarnate in Christ with the same attitude that these young men will have as the lights come on at Dodger Stadium tonight.

Grace and Peace,

What is it in your life that is holding you back from committing everything you can muster to live as Christ showed through his life, death, and resurrection?