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Wait til Next Year!

I have several things that I am very passionate about. One of those things is the Chicago Cubs. One thing that I am used to hearing is the phrase “wait ‘till next year!” You see, the Cubs have a knack for back luck. For instance, in 1969, the Cubs were a very hot team. Then during the middle of a game, a black cat ran onto the field. This is one of those things that just is naturally associated with bad luck, similar to breaking a mirror or stepping under a ladder. The ’69 Cubs proceeded to lose their position of first place. Another example is in the 2003 playoffs. The Cubs had a 3-1 series lead going into game 4, but lost the game in 11 innings. The Cubs had a 3-2 series lead against the Florida Marlins going into Game 5. In the 8th inning, a lazy fly ball was hit to Moises Alou, the Cubs left fielder. He was under the ball, and was ready to catch the ball, when a fan interfered. The Cubs ended up losing the game, and then game 7, which sent the Marlins to the World Series.
I am not here to debate luck, although many people believe that the Cubs have had more than their fair share. I am here to talk about perseverance. The definition of persevere is “to continue to a course of action in spite of difficulty. Vince Lombardi said it perfectly when he said, “It’s not, whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.” The best example of perseverance that I can come up with is Chicago Cubs radio broadcaster and former player Ron Santo.
He is the only player in baseball to play with Type 1 diabetes. He hardly ever missed a game. He could be seen in the locker room injecting himself with insulin. The amazing thing is that he kept his disease quiet until after his career was over. He said that he “wanted to prove that he could play with diabetes”. After his playing days, he had to have both of his legs amputated- one in 2003, and another in 2005. Many people with diabetes have to have their legs amputated because of bad circulation. Ron has been with the team for 40 years as a player and as a broadcaster. He says that he wants to be there when the Cubs win a World Series. Santo is a person that has to persevere. He doesn’t give up. He is passionate about what he does. Even when the going gets tough, Ron doesn’t quit.
In the Bible, it also talks about perseverance. In 1 Peter 5:10a it says “So after you have suffered for a little while, he (Jesus) will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.” Peter also had something else to say about perseverance. Philippians 3:13-14 says, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” These two verses show that even when we are going through hard times, God will support us. We need to keep going, to reach the ultimate reward in heaven. Obviously, this principle of perseverance does not apply just to sports. Wherever you are, whether it is at work, at home, or at school, you need to persevere.
You may be wondering what the rewards are for persevering. Take school for example. Imagine if you have a hard test. The more you study and persevere, the more likely you will get a good grade. God will help you through whatever you need to do. A great way to connect to God for help is through prayer. In Colossians 4:2 Paul writes, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and an open heart.” It is very important to connect to God through prayer. Since we are talking about perseverance, God is our ultimate source for help in difficult situations. He can help us through any situation, such as death of a loved one, a cancer, etc. It is vital to stay connected to God.
So the next time you are feeling down, remember Ron Santo and Cubs fans. More importantly, remember to stay connected to God in whatever you do. He is our ultimate source. As Yogi Berra said, “The game isn’t over until its over.”





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