This is definitely one that I am going to tell my daughter about one day. It will probably be about 9 years from now, but at some point she’ll look around and wonder why all us “old people” keep talking about what we were doing the night the Cubs won the World Series.
I can hear her now, “Daddy, why is there a music video called the “The World Series Shuffle?” or “Daddy, what kind of name is Bryant to Rizzo for a restaurant?” or “Daddy, why is there a statue of a man with big black glasses next to the bean in Millenium Park?” or my personal favorite “Daddy, why were so many of my friends born exactly 9 months after the Cubs won?” (I’m going to send her to her momma for that one! Lol)
Honestly, I can’t even lie and say that I’m a big baseball fan. I definitely keep up with it through the Internet and by watching highlights on ESPN, but personally, the season is just entirely too long for me to get emotionally invested.
However, this post season was different, as something that I am a huge fan of was potentially going to be affected…and that something was history. There are very few times that you get to experience something that you know is going to be literally remembered and talked about for generations to come.
For me, this was about seeing something that no one alive has ever witnessed before. This was about the world’s longest-suffering fans finally getting rewarded for enduring DECADES of jokes & teasing about the lovable losers from Chicago. (Of which I have done more than my fair share…Sorry, Anne. lol.) This was about redemption from the Bartman incident back in 2003. (I actually worked with him at the time.) This was even about getting a live-action remake of the Major League movie from back in the 1980’s that pit the Cubs versus the Indians with Charlie Sheen playing the role of the “Wild Thing!” (I loved that movie.)
In the midst of enjoying all of these reasons, here’s the thing that stuck with me as I sat up late into the night watching celebrations all over Chicago: I think the delayed gratification actually made the final success that much sweeter.
I mean, think about it. Winning is great for those who win all the time…but there’s something even more captivating about the celebration of one who has gone so long without winning that you actually forget they could. I have friends who care absolutely nothing for the Cubs, but even they were genuinely excited for their friends and family who had waited so long to see this happen.
The more I thought about it, the more I began to see parallels between the steps Theo Epstein went through with the Cubs and the steps that God goes through with many of our lives.
(1) Theo came in with a plan that had the end in mind from the beginning. (2) He then proceeded to get rid of everything & everyone that didn’t line up with the end result he wanted to see become reality. (3) When things began to go bad, which he had fully expected & explained would happen, he continually reiterated that we all needed to “trust the process”. (4) Even while the team was losing, he was behind the scenes strategically rebuilding the organization with pieces that would continue to reap benefits for years to come. And lastly, when Theo had done everything he had set out to do, the Cubs ended celebrating on the home field of the very team that was trying to stop them from reaching their end goal.
I can’t help but think that if a 36 year old Theo Epstein was able to do all of this with the Chicago Cubs, how much more can the God of all creation do with us?
I am fully convinced that the answer to this is found in Psalm 23:5 where we see how in God’s plan He is looking to “prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies”, allowing me to celebrate the incredible right in open sight of all those who said it would never happen! Trust me when I say that there can be no sweeter victory than this!
Truly thankful that I was able to witness this for Chicago as this team will live on forever in our memories and on constant replays from now until Jesus returns and puts the Angels back on top of the baseball world!
Be Blessed! Go Cubs Go!