Who stayed up to watch all 14 innings and 5+ hours of game 1 in the World Series?  I propped myself up to watch it on the sofa and though I missed a few plays here and there I was pretty much conscious through it all.  It was an exciting game, full of big hits, crazy bounces, great defensive plays, errors, and redemption. 

In the 8th inning, Kansas City's first baseman Eric Hosmer misplayed a ball hit to him and allowed the potential winning run to score for the New York Mets.  Hosmer is noted for his great defensive play yet on this occasion he just flat out missed it.  His error almost cost Kansas City the game.  However, the game wasn't over and as Hosmer came to bat in the bottom of the 14th inning with bases loaded, he hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score the winning run for his team.  He quickly went from being villain to hero!  All his teammates embraced him after his game-winning sacrifice and showered him with coolers of water.  Here is what Hosmer was quoted as saying after the game:

''I wanted to redeem myself for what happened earlier ... That's the beauty of this game. Always get a chance to redeem yourself and can't thank my teammates enough.''

Interesting concept ... "redeem myself" ... works great for baseball but is a lousy idea for real life.  The ONLY redemption we have is what is offered to us in and through the person and work of Jesus Christ.  His life of perfect obedience, His atoning death, and His resurrection provide the only basis of redemption for anyone.  Sure, we try to redeem ourselves ... much of our religious activity is intended for some degree of self-redemption ... but the truth is Jesus redeems us.  Redemption is accomplished for us and applied to us by Someone other than us.  This Someone is Jesus!

And, to be honest, upon closer examination, Eric Hosmer's true redemption last night was supplied by someone else - teammate Alex Gordon who hit an odds-defying, game-tying home run in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Mets dominating closer, Jeurys Familia.  Familia had been nearly perfect this year in closing out games for the Mets; so with a 1 run lead and only 3 outs to get, the Mets were almost certain to win.  But Gordon connected on a pitch and drove it 421 feet over the center field fence to tie the game.  Here's another quote from Eric Hosmer about Gordon's game-tying home run:

"When Gordon hit that home run, I was the happiest person in the stadium."

I bet he was!  Hosmer didn't save the day, Alex Gordon did.  Here's what we must learn: whatever great thing you do get credit for, remember that someone else made it possible.  And if you ever find yourself in a situation where you think or someone tells you, "now is the chance to redeem yourself," just remember that the opportunity is only available to you because your true redemption has already been accomplished and applied by Jesus Christ.  That thought can also make you the "happiest person."