One day a friend of mine asked if I would like to join him and a few others to see the Detroit Tigers play one of their last games, at their old stadium, scheduled to be demolished. I didn’t even have to think about it. I had only been to a Tiger game once, when I was a little kid, but I remember that I really enjoyed it.
As we headed out on a bright sunny day, everyone was excited and eagerly talking baseball. I noticed that they all had brought catchers mitts with them. It hadn’t even occurred to me to bring one and the more I thought about it, the more I whined to them that I hadn’t brought one. I hadn’t even gotten to the game and already I had lost out on a chance to catch a ball. Eventually however, I got over it and settled in for a long ride and an enjoyable day out with friends.
We got there fairly early and had taken our seats to watch the pre-game warmups. Everyone else sat there poised with their mitts ready, but it really didn’t bother me anymore. I was just excited to be there in the atmosphere and enjoyed soaking in the sights and sounds at a professional ballpark. My friend made the comment that he was enjoying watching me take it all in, sort of like seeing it again for the first time. As we watched the players prepare for the game, I was chatting with him, but suddenly was interrupted mid-sentence when I noticed a big commotion in the stands near us. It all happened so fast, but I looked up behind me in the direction everyone was sort of gawking, just in time to see a baseball bounce from rail to rail as it headed down toward me and then “Ow,” I exclaimed as it plopped on my foot. Time stood still for a moment, as I just stared at it, dumbfounded and was amazed to see everyone in my row sort of poised looking down at it too, but nobody moved. It was kind of surreal as I reached down and picked it up. Looking down at the field, holding the ball, I realized that everyone seemed to be waiting for me, expectantly. Finally, I guess because I was clueless, a guy threw his hand up in the air, like he was signaling a taxi, indicating to me that I should hold it up and declare my prize. I complied, everyone cheered. Obviously, I had only been to one game when I was a kid!
My friend then leaned over to explain what had happened. He said “I knew that ball was headed for you when it went that way,” with this, he pointed in the direction away from us. “But then it turned around and came back.” He continued to explain. “That batter had hit a foul, which headed up the sidelines away from us.” The ball then turned around, headed up the stands above us and bounced on each rail on the way down, landing on my foot. True story! I still have the ball and had trekked down and gotten it signed, but now the signatures are kind of stained from when my wet mittens rested on it in my car. So it has no real value but to me. It tells me that my feelings of disappointment were important to the Lord. So important, that He brought the ball to me, dropped it on my foot, just as a reminder!
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps. 37:4