Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The Impossible Dream
I wrote last week about the unusually unfriendly (for our league) rivalry between my oldest girl’s softball team, which went into the playoffs with a 0-16 record, and another cut-throat team, whose record was 16-0. We played them tonight in the play-offs.
The other team had assumed they were going to beat us and advance to the championship game. Before the game, they commented that this was their practice game for the next one. Our team had a little bit of hope, as our last game against them had been quite close.
There was no score through the second inning. With two outs on us, we suddenly scored four runs. We held them at 4-0 until the fifth inning, when they scored two runs. My toddler fell asleep on my lap and I was unable to move, clap, or yell. I was so emotional I knew I was going to cry at the end of the game.
The head ump said the second one didn’t count. At the top of the sixth, he changed his mind and gave it back to them; we scored no runs. At the bottom of the sixth, they scored one more run. It was 4-3, 2 outs, with a girl on third base and no more steals allowed. We got the last out of the game and I did burst into tears of happiness.
There were a few tears shed on the other side as well, tears of disappointment. There was great rejoicing on our side. We had finally won a game and were advancing to the championship game – one that many had crossed off their calendars.
I have written in the past about how failures must be celebrated. In this case, our success here was made even sweeter by the bitter taste of failure that had preceded it. The coach of the team we will be playing next week was cheering us on as the underdogs. It doesn’t even matter who wins that game – we proved that anyone can be a winner, with persistence.
Sirach Chapter 11 (NAB):
One may toil and struggle and drive, and fall short all the more.
Another goes his way a weakling and a failure, with little strength and great misery-- Yet the eyes of the LORD look favorably upon him; he raises him free of the vile dust,
Lifts up his head and exalts him to the amazement of the many.”