One of life’s (rare) joys is when Wendy and I get to fly our Chicago Cubs’ “W” flag at our place on Lake of the Ozarks after a win over National League Central Division rival the St. Louis Cardinals. The lake is in the middle of Cardinal country and even our next door neighbors have taken to flying their Cardinals flag in playful protest to us publicly showing our colors. Last week was one of the those rare occasions when the “W” was wafting in the breeze after a victory of the redbirds. I just had to take a picture.
For the past few months of cold, snowy, gross grey days, Wendy and I have been waiting anxiously for today. Yesterday was opening day for baseball and today is the first game of the season for our beloved Cubs.
There’s still chill in the air, but the boys of summer are taking the field and it means that we’ve turned the corner. Good bye winter. Hello sunny afternoons at the ball park with the sound of a 95 m.p.h. fastball hitting the catchers mit, the crack of the bat, and the roar of the crowd spilling their beer and dropping their hot dogs when the hometown hero takes that hanging curveball over the plate and sends it sailing over the fence.
You'll see all this and burst with joy —you'll feel ten feet tall— As it becomes apparent that God is on your side and against his enemies. Isaiah 66:14 (MSG)
A couple of years ago Wendy and I took Taylor and Clayton to an Iowa Cubs game. The game looked to be a real downer as the I-Cubs were losing by three runs going into the bottom of the ninth. Then, the four of us witnessed the quintessential baseball moment. It was Casey at the Bat come to life. The Cubs loaded the bases, and with two outs and the count full at 3 and 2, there was just one pitch to determine the outcome of the game. Everyone was on their feet. The crowd was going crazy. It happened. Our hometown boy knocked it out of the park for a Grand Slam to win the game. We walked out of the park that night feeling ten feet tall. I will never forget that game.
There is nothing quite like the moment of victory for an athlete or a fan. I think we all have experienced the thrill of victory at one time or another. The last second shot goes in. Coming from behind against impossible odds to win the match. A Hail Mary pass is caught in the end-zone.
God promised salvation through Jesus, and delivered in the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. He has also promised an ultimate victory for any who would believe. We will all know a bottom-of-the-ninth Grand Slam to rival no other. We will stand and feel ten feet tall as we witness God victorious.