My husband and I took the day off and whiled away a beautiful summer afternoon at the ballpark. We had two free tickets to a Brewer game, so off we went, on a date, to Milwaukee. I love baseball. I fell in love with baseball when I was eight months pregnant in 1982. Our first child was soon to enter our world and the Milwaukee Brewers were in the World Series. It was a magical time and I spent many happy hours lying on the couch dreaming of motherhood and cheering on my team. The Brewers haven’t been to a World Series since and my first baby is now a married woman, but the game stays the same and I still love it.
Today, our team was a little flat. They fell behind in the first inning and stayed that way through eight innings. Our two best hitters combined for one walk out of ten at-bats. It was a slow day at the diamond. The brats were good, and so were the pretzels and cheese fries and ice-cream and licorice. The sights and sounds of the ballpark along with the usual semi-inebriated fans two rows down were fairly entertaining. But by the end of the eighth we were still down by one run and my date was getting antsy. (He’s a football man at heart; he just likes baseball because he loves me.) He bent over and whispered, “If we leave now, we can get a jump on the traffic.” The bottom of the order was due to bat in the ninth, so I reluctantly agreed and we left our pile of empty food containers in row three and beat the crowd out of the stadium.
Before we found our way to the car, the Brewers had two men on base. Before we left the parking lot, the game was tied. Before we left the city limits of Milwaukee, our pitcher mowed down the order in the tenth inning. And before we reached the suburbs, the crowd (the very same crowd we so cleverly beat out of the ballpark) was enjoying a come-from-behind victory. We missed it because we gave up before it was really over.
Sometimes we just quit too soon. There’s a win coming within minutes, but we throw in the towel, thinking it’s over, when in reality we are standing on the brink of victory. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9