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A Meditation On Happy Flight

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 12:18 PM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
I don't often deviate from writing about the Cardinals in this space.  Recaps, analysis, predictions, all that sort of stuff.  However, I am right now.  If you aren't a religious person, you may want to skip this one.  I don't think it's overtly offensive to those that aren't Christian, but your tolerance level may be at a different place than mine is.  No hard feelings if you skip this one, as long as you come back for more Cardinal talk later.  (And, really, even if you don't return, there's still no hard feelings on this end.)

Anyway, when I was looking over the Google analytics for the blog earlier this week, I noticed a lot of people were reaching this blog by looking for "the meaning of happy flight".  For some reason, that struck me not just as a Cardinal fan, but as a Christian.

If, for some reason, you are coming to this post not as a Cardinal fan, but one that is curious about the "happy flight" phrase, let me first give you what you are looking for.  Back in August, the team--I believe it started with Rafael Furcal, actually--started using that label as a goal.  If the Cardinals could win the game before they left town, the flight to their next location (home or away) would be a happy one.  The Cards kept winning those games (and others as well) and made a miraculous push to the playoffs.  The phrase "happy flight" now resounds as a catchphrase on those days, as evidenced by the team chanting it on the field in Milwaukee after they had won the National League Championship Series and punched their ticket for the Fall Classic.

The baseball reasoning behind the term is a fun story, one that will always be associated with the 2011 Cardinals.  However, you could put some religious meaning behind it as well.

As a Christian, I believe in the ultimate flight, that at some point all will ascend to heaven for judgement, whether when we pass away or on the actual Judgement Day.  That will happen.  The question is, will it be a happy flight?  Will the results be what we want?

The Cardinals are always going to take a flight when they have to change cities, just like we will take that eventual ultimate flight.  However, they have to put in the time, put in the work, play the game the right way to have a "happy flight."

We as Christians have to do the same.  We have to live our lives as if the flight is tomorrow.  That means making sure we have a good relationship with God and that we love our neighbor as ourselves.  There's no time for pettiness or selfishness.  We're working for that happy flight, and the toil and sweat of this earth, just like any blemishes in a winning game, will be quickly forgotten as we chant "happy flight."

Anyway, I hope that those that aren't Christian aren't offended by this, but it came to me and, as this is a baseball blog, it seemed appropriate.  (It's also my baseball blog, which seems somewhat relevant!)  I have another baseball-Christianity connections, such as the stitching on the baseball and the connection between Lent and spring training, but I'll spare you those unless the response to this demands that.

Of course, if you are interested in the intersection of baseball and Christianity, at least in the aspect of ballplayers writing about their faith, be sure to check out the E-Fellowship blog that players such as Adam Wainwright, Blake Hawksworth, and others contribute to.

Here's hoping the Cardinals have a baseball happy flight tonight!

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3 Comments | Leave a comment

I'm Jewish, and have no problem with you making associations between Christianity and baseball. I believe people engender religious disputes when they argue that everyone must follow one religion (or sect) and have no interest in learning about other views. In that vein, and speaking as a long time reader of your blog, I'd encourage you to share your particular perspective so readers like me can learn about an eclectic take on baseball. I'd particularly like to read posts about "the stitching on the baseball and the connection between Lent and spring training."

Count me in on the stitching and Lent stories. Really nice comment from Jason. A rational man is a good man.

I appreciate the comments from both of you. Like I say, I didn't think it was all that controversial, but you know how it is when religion gets put into the conversation, no matter how innocently.

Maybe in the offseason I can put all my baseball/Christianity thoughts into one post--they aren't long or deep, just some of the things my mind thinks about while sitting in church!

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