Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” Genesis 17:17
I quit just a little too soon. I think there must have been this line in heaven where all the babies wait to be assigned dads, moms, skills, and bodies in heaven. I can just imagine me standing there waiting. I am watching as all the boy babies make it to the front and they are soon on their way with these bodies that are destined to be tall and muscular. They make the jump to earth and their new homes just waiting to grow up and become the next Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan. I can also imagine my turn at the front of the line and Saint Peter saying something about sports and I miss understood and thought he said something about ketchup, and I said, “Sure, I’ll take a squirt.” Anyway, I arrived on earth a little shorter than average and not a sports bone in my body. I should have listened closer.
All this became pretty apparent when it came to choosing teams. Whether it was kickball, volleyball, basketball, dodgeball, or baseball, when the teams were chosen I was near the end of the line. As far as school sports, well, there were hundreds of kids in the schools I attended and trust me no one ever offered me a contract. The only place I had a measure of success was, of course, at church. I managed to make the church softball team though it was the “B” team. We did play tackle football after our Bible study time on Wednesday nights and there I made a name for myself. One of our teachers was named Eddie and he was, well, one large man and no one could tackle him, so they called him “Big Eddie.” While I wasn’t nearly that large, I was harder to tackle so I gained the name “Little Eddie.” Hey, when you are nameless in the world of sports, you will take anything.
My only foray into “professional sports” was Little League baseball when I was about 9 or 10. I don’t remember if I actually made the team, or if everyone made the team. Regardless, we were called the Gators and we, or rather they, were pretty good. Again, I had absolutely no talents in baseball, so I was assigned to right field on the rare occasions that I got to play. I was the kid who prayed a lot during the games. It wasn’t that I was particularly spiritual—it was emotional survival. First, I would pray that they wouldn’t play me and then, if they did, I would pray that no one would hit the ball to right field. It didn’t work. Invariably someone would and well, it wasn’t good.
Then, of course, there was the batting thing. Did you know that there are players who actually say they can see the stitches on the ball as it comes toward them? Did you know there are players who actually know when and how to swing? Can you guess I wasn’t one of those players? Nope, the pitcher would pitch, and I would wonder where the ball was. That wasn’t pretty either. So, the sad (you are feeling sorry for me by now, aren’t you) bottom line is that one day I just refused to go to practice. I made it through about three quarters of the season and I just gave it up—I quit.
Well, guess what? It turns out that even without me, the Gators ended up winning the championship. Yup, they sure did. I remember, the coach came by my house one evening and he was carrying a trophy. He said that the team had won it all and even though I hadn’t finished the season, he wanted me to have a trophy. I probably mumbled something about quitting because I was hit by a semi-truck and thanked him for bringing the trophy by. The truth was there was no excuse—I just quit. And the other truth is because of that, the trophy meant absolutely, the grand total of—nothing. I didn’t earn it and I didn’t deserve it. Not because I wasn’t good, but because I didn’t finish.
I really don’t have a lot of regrets life but that is a small one I do own. I’m ok with not being tall and gifted in sports, but I’m really not ok with being a quitter. Not then—not now. If I would have waited, I could have been a champion, but I didn’t wait it out. You know there was a guy in the Bible who had the same issue. God had promised him a son, an heir. The only problem was he and his wife were old—really old. In fact, when God told him he was going to have a son, this guy fell on his face and laughed and said, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
Instead of believing God, he decided to do things his way or really Sarah’s way. Since she couldn’t conceive, they opted for a concubine rather than wait on the miracle. What a bad idea. He and the concubine did have a son, but it wasn’t the son God had promised. It really didn’t go well…and sadly it still isn’t going well. Much of the conflict in that part of the world stems from this one man. Oh, the consequences.
Oh, and by the way, guess what? When they were both older than dirt, Sarah, his wife, did in fact conceive and the promised son was born. God came through after all—surprise, surprise. If only they had finished the season…if only they had waited, how different things would have been. The good news is that God kept His word and blessed Abraham beyond his wildest dreams. You see even though Abraham quit believing, God never quit believing in him…and He won’t quit believing in you either. I like that…actually, I love that. Regardless of what you are waiting on, just hang on…just be patient, just wait and see what God has in mind. He’s never late and He’s never early, He’s right on time because He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne