Babe Ruth was thirteen years old when the Chicago Cubs had last won the World Series. It would be another two years before my Grandfather was born. Jimmy Stewart, Betty Davis and Lyndon B. Johnson were born; Butch Cassidy and Grover Cleveland died that year. Such mark the significance of any given year. Little did Cub fans realize that it would be 39,466 days, 69 managers, 4 different owners, 18 different Presidents before they would lay claim to being World Champions again. I stayed up to watch this historical event, well, until the end of the 9th inning. Chicago let a five run lead vanish, giving hope to the Indians in extra innings. It was 11:05 and I might have made it for one extra inning, but the forces that be (Rain!) delayed 108 years a little longer. Seems the Cub fans have waited this long, they may as well wait on a rain delay and who knows home many extra innings. When they brought the tarp on to the field and covered the diamond, my eyes begged me to record it and go to sleep. I obliged, and in real time missed a great ending to a really great series, one for the century! Turns out, the rain delay was only 17 minutes and the Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 10th and held on to win its first World series in 108 years, 7 games, 1 extra inning. I was fast asleep!
In the real scope of things, big deal! I’m not that big a Cubs fan to start with. It really only was interesting for the novelty and historical perspective. I couldn’t help ponder the fact that I stayed up to watch it and then gave up on it. If I’d only stayed with it 30 more minutes. Oh well! I probably won’t even be around when they win it again in 2124. No big deal!
What is a big deal, is to miss heaven! I’ve often wondered about those who have struggled faithfully, enduring good and bad times only to get so close and then give up or give in. The Hebrew writer reminds of endurance; Heb. 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. Heb. 10:36-37 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. (37) For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;
Six times in the last book of the Bible, we are encouraged to have and show forth “Endurance” (Rev.1:9; 2:2, 19; 3:10; 13:10; 14:12). Similarly, eight times in the book of Revelation it is pressed upon us the importance of overcoming (Rev. 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21; 21:7). Christ knows too well that his followers will have to be prepared to see their salvation through to the end. Satan will not relent. He may for a season flee from us, 1Pe 5:8-10 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (9) Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (10) And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
On the very eve of God’s plan coming to fruition, the fulfillment of God’s promises to mankind, the means of man’s very salvation, while Jesus prayed under tremendous torment of His soul in the garden, we slept (Mark 14:33-42). Peter, James and John and the other disciples are stereotypical of us all; a longing to put forth strength and courage, yet rarely able to do so when needed. God’s best fan, stayed the course, endured all the sorrow and pain when we should’ve, but couldn’t. Heb. 12:3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
I don’t mean to trivialize our faithfulness and steadfastness to that of a weary baseball fan but consider these two points:
- We grow weary and are quick to dismiss the coach, the players, the whole organization when things seem bad and victory appears to vanish, but there’s still an inning or two left. We should not lose hope (Gal.6:9).
- Victory is sure! It may not happen in my lifetime or my grandchildren’s, but somewhere in our future is the greatest victory celebration (1 Cor.15:57).