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Hustle, The Older Brother and The Prodigal Son

I watched most of Hustle today. It is the story of Pete Rose his gambling, lying and banishment from baseball. He is the all-time hits leader in baseball, but ineligible for the hall of fame because of his gambling and deceipt. I agree with the decision. Rose did finally admit to betting on baseball in January of 2004 even though the rest of the world had known for fifteen years.
This brings up a flury of emotions in me. One, I can relate to be addicted to gambling. One semester in college I picked up my student loan check for about $1000. I promptly went and met the bookie and gave him $900 of it. I am aware of what it is like to live with the magic thinking of a gambling addict. 'The next bet I make will put me on a roll.'
I am also glad he is banned. I have sensed Rose's arrogance over the whole issue since it began. He treated Jim Gray with meanness and like a true addict lashed out when Gray was too close to the truth in an interview. It took fifteen years for him to admit to the big picture of the truth and it happened to coincide with a book release.
On a bigger scale I have to deal with my feelings as Prodigal and my self-righteousness as Older Brother. Currently I am facilitating a men's group using Silence of Adam by Larry Crabb. In it Crabb states that we all have the propensity to move one of two directions to make life work for us instead of dealing with it in honest relationship with God and others. On one side is the person who most often tries to manage life by feeling a certain way about himself or herself. This person is always looking for 'it' to feel a certain way. On the other side is the person who attempts to make life work by coming up with a set or rules and following those rules. So you have either all emotion or all legalism.
For me I make the connection with these to the Prodigal and Older Brother in me. I generally lean to the direction of feeling a certain way and therefore identify more with the prodigal though I battle both.
My 'older brother' seems to emerge in situations of public fallenness where honesty isn't forthcoming. I can feel something in me that wants to pin folks down and have them admit their sin. I don't necessarily think it's a good thing. I certainly don't want to go on any public crusade after anyone.
I am glad Pete Rose finally admitted betting on baseball. I think it is good for him and his growth. He still shouldn't get in the hall of fame because the rules are very direct on the matter. There was something in me I didn't like that wanted to hold him under my thumb a little too much.
Other situations my 'older brother' has spoken from within...Amy Grant and Vince Gill.

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