Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Season Ticket Holders

Sitting in lawn chairs, feet propped on the backstop fence, we holler for our sons.  She and I have been cheering together for years - hundreds of baseball games it seems we've shared.

"Be patient!" she pleads with my eager batter.
"Always run it out!" I remind her disheartened runner.

This game is tied.
The go-ahead run is on third. Two outs.
First pitch: swing and a miss.

"Patience is a virtue," she preaches under her breath.

A ball flings wild across the plate.  "Ball Two."
"Good eye!  Way to wait for it," we cheer.

A beautifully executed pitch sails past the batter's belt.  "StuhhrrrrrrIKE two!"
 We console and inspire, "Ok. that was it. Pick out a good one, and let's bring a batter home!"

Fast pitch.  SMACK!  Right down the first baseline.
 "Run hard!  Run Hard!" we are on our feet.  "Run it out!"

The first baseman bobbles and can't make it on base in time.  Man on first.  One RBI. We regain the lead. We moms sink back into our chairs, exhaling relief.

"You always run it out." I recommit and recommend.

With eyes still fixed on the game, we turn our chins and comments toward each other. "Patience is a virtue," she smiles. We talk about all the decisions these boys have to make in a single game ... a single at-bat, for that matter. Great players must have solid instincts, quick decision-making wisdom, strong follow-through, speed, strength, and agility. And above all, great players are teachable.

Our husbands flank the field, clad in matching jerseys. They fire off verbal directives from their posts, clapping quick and hard, as if to confirm their desires and will them to be. One paces, head down, hands perched on hip bones. The other stands resolute, arms folded firmly around his chest - tensely bound in spectatorship.

For us, watching is natural.  We are not athletic. We never played baseball, but we married baseball players. We are accustomed to this vantage. We watched our men play. We bore sons and bought bats and watched as our men prepared to pass the torch to our boys.

And now, we supportively watch, wanting our men to succeed. We want our husbands to offer excellence as example, and wisdom as advice. We want our young men to faithfully watch and attentively listen to their fathers. We want our men - young and old - to grow and learn and be everything God has called them to be. We want them to be patient.  Be bold. Be wise.  To always run it out.

Realizing our devotion, but surrendering control, we pray for the Manager of the universe to continue to wisely call the plays, and lovingly work His perfect plan in all our lives.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus." - Hebrews 12