I don’t consider myself to be a big baseball fan but I watched Auburn and Florida play last night (Monday June 11) for the final spot in the College World Series. (I may not be a big baseball fan but I am a huge Auburn fan and will watch almost anything they play on TV- football, basketball, baseball, softball, golf, equestrian, gymnastics, swimming and diving, badminton… no I guess they don’t have a badminton team). And by the way, that is the way badminton is spelled; I had to look it up.

The baseball game was just a great game; both teams played their hearts out with Florida winning 3-2 in the bottom of the eleventh inning- a walk-off home run that tipped the glove of the Auburn outfielder before skipping over the fence. A couple of inches and that game-winner would have just been another out. Even the Florida coach tweeted “It’s a shame somebody had to lose that game.”

Prior to the season‘s beginning Auburn was not highly regarded- in fact they were projected to be at the bottom of the league. Florida, on the other hand, was the defending national champions and most people figured they would contend to win it all again. So this was similar to a “David vs Goliath” scenario and I couldn’t help but see a few lessons from this game.

1) Auburn “scratched and clawed” for every hit, every base runner and the two runs that crossed the plate. They made several unbelievable plays to keep Florida’s team from scoring. But today, the one play that everyone seems to be replaying is the “trick” play Florida used for a runner to steal home. Sometimes we just have to “scratch and dig” and expend all of our energy to stay in this game of life; and it still isn’t enough to win all the time. But we still have to keep “scratching and digging”.

2) Making it to the College World Series is quite a feat; only eight teams make it, so there was a lot on the line for this game. But there’s much more at stake in our lives, much of which we cannot control. That’s why it is so important to choose wisely on things we can control. We must focus on the runner at third base attempting to steal home instead of the runner at first base who is just a distraction.

3) It’s a “game of inches”. We hear it all the time about most any sporting event and the winning run last night was just inches from being an out. But so is life. Years ago a terrible tornado ripped through a busy street here in our town. Within five minutes prior to its touchdown, Robin and our daughters had driven through the intersection where the path of destruction began.

I’m sorry the Tigers couldn’t pull it out last night but I’m proud of the way they played and represented our university. I wonder if I can say the same thing about the way I’ve lived my life and represented my Lord?

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