The World Series is over, the Cardinals have won, and it’s snowing on campus! It must be Christmas!! Oh… wait, it’s only October! The trees are still a million beautiful colors, yet the snow has been silently falling for hours. What a wonderful picture of the season caught in transition!
What profound thoughts might I be able to pull from baseball this time? Not many… in fact, maybe none at all. But try I must because I feel there must be a 3rd and final post in this series. There is one lesson that I am learning: how to be humble in victory.
Maybe this sounds odd to you. After all, I did nothing to make the Cardinals win… I just sat and watched the game. But, as any serious sports fan knows, if the team wins, you win. So, I won in a sense, and I need to handle that properly. I could be gloating… after all, the student body president and several others supported the Rangers. And I might be gloating had it not been for a couple events. I might be acting like a jerk, ignoring how I made others feel. But I am learning to be kinder and more gentle through this.
Friday night, I watched the last out with great excitement. My first instinct was to find my vocal, Rangers-supporting friend and rub it in. The Cardinals had won, and I felt justified in my pride. But a fellow Cardinals fan stopped me in my tracks. In spite of my constant begging, he refused to text our friend, simply saying, “Aw… I don’t wanna rub it in.” What a gentleman! He toned down my obnoxious nature and reminded me that it was better to be gentle in that moment.
As I was watching the post-game celebration, the screen showed something amazing and important. Seconds after the last out, running toward the pitcher’s mound to celebrate, Albert Pujols dropped to the ground on one knee, bowed his head, and paused. He then jumped up and sprinted for the mound. My jaw dropped. What an AWESOME picture of humility. Pujols was part of the World Champion team, yet he didn’t credit himself or his team with the victory. Before celebrating with his team, he paused and knelt, giving glory to the Lord of everything. He recognized God’s gifts of sports, of ability to play, of teammates, and of victory. No, not that God is a Cardinals fan, but that God gives every good gift, and we ought to praise him for it. =)
Saturday morning was perhaps the most humbling of all. My Rangers-loving friend saw me at breakfast. Instead of hiding or making a snarky comment, he came up to me and gave me a high-five. Everything was back to normal. =) His humility and kindness humbled me. I couldn’t even tease him the rest of the day. He was so gentle that I stopped in my tracks and refrained from my snide, victorious remarks.
Maybe this isn’t much to you, but it was a lot to me. I’m not exactly the most humble or most gentle person on the planet… And… well… Yeah. I had some things to learn even in victory.
Dios te bendiga.