Disappointment and Joy


Weeping may stay all night, but by morning, joy (Psalm 40:5b, Common English Bible).

I am an Astros fan. I always have been an Astros fan. Short of some stunt like the Oilers pulled several years ago when they moved to Tennessee, I can’t imagine that there will be a day that I am not an Astros fan. The Astros were an expansion team in 1962. I was four years old. Though I don’t remember it, my parents told me I had been to a game at the old Colt Stadium before the Astrodome was built.

Over the years I have seen good teams and bad teams. I have seen some wins along the way as well as some losses. In 2005 I was ecstatic when the Astros went to their first World Series after 43 years. I was very disappointed after they were swept by the White Sox.

This year brought new excitement when the Astros returned to the World Series. Last night was another bout with disappointment. Leading the series 2-1, the Astros fell in the late innings and lost 6-2. I am not surprised. There are really good reasons both teams are here. Of course, I wanted the Astros to win. I always want the Astros to win. Even when the Astros aren’t in the game, I want the Astros to win. And, in the Houston metro area, after so many years of futility, it is wonderful to see our team this close.

It also makes every loss even more disappointing for fans. I have to remind myself every so often that it is just a game. My life will not change, win or lose. Yes, I want them to win. But in the end, it is just a game.

After watching the game I sat down to write this post. Having a few days between blog series, I was thinking about what I wanted to say. It occurred to me that we all, whether we are Astros fans or not, face disappointment in life. But, when it is all said and done, what do I have to be disappointed about? It is just a game.

I have a great family and awesome friends. I am regularly surrounded by people who care about me. I have a career I enjoy (well there are a few things every once in a while). I am able to spend time doing many other things that bring joy to my life, wood carving, working with paracord, strumming my guitar, writing music (well, more lyrics than the actual music but I have done both), writing in other ways. My list could get pretty long.

I also live at a time in history where I can watch my favorite teams, baseball, and others, as well as many other things I enjoy. When Major League Baseball began 141 years ago, not only could I not watch a game on television, I couldn’t have even listened to it on the radio. And, while I sat through a disappointing game tonight, I also got to watch two games where I was really happy with the result.

As I think about it tonight, I can take that verse fragment from Psalms very literally. “Weeping may stay all night, but by morning, joy!” Yes, I am disappointed tonight. But tomorrow morning, it is the Lord’s Day. It is Sunday and I get the privilege of preaching to God’s people. As a preacher, I can’t think of many things that bring me more joy. Yes, there is sadness tonight, but joy will come in the morning.

For all of us, there is a reason to celebrate, there is a reason for joy. Remember the words of the psalmist, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24, New Revised Standard Version).

So, despite the disappointment, even when our team losses (it is only a game), we have a reason for joy. So, we live out Paul’s words to the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4, New Revised Standard Version).

Have a blessed (and joyful) day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved



Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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