Some moments in life seem to unfold in slow motion. These are some of the same moments that can cause us to hit the replay button over and over again due to the sheer amazement of its power. Last night I lived through many of those kinds of moments. Possibly the most epic game in baseball history was played last night. The 2016 World Series will go down in Major League history, leaving its mark unlike any other. As the Indians and Cubs battled it out at the plate, their fans anticipated each swing, hoping it would deliver the runs that would carry them to victory. It was the 10th inning that revealed the champion, and I watched in amazement as my Cubbies took ownership of the title 2016 World Series Champions.
Many will agree that this game carried us through countless moments filled with emotion. Moments full of fear, anticipation, hope, exuberance, confusion, nausea… and everything in between! Some moments are forever etched in my memory.
As the final out of the game unfolded, there was Bryant’s boyish smirk that grew into sheer exuberance as he released the throw to Rizzo. It was the throw that would deliver that final out, sealing the victory for his team. Then there was Rizzo,
with mouth gaping wide open as he catches the throw by Bryant only then to cram that game winning ball into his back pocket, much like he had done just weeks prior in the game that clinched their division. Some of my favorite moments though, took place after that last out of the game.As celebrating broke out on the field and reporters began snagging players for interviews, the behind the scene stories began to unfold and we all gained a clearer understanding of what had actually taken place within that Cubs “band of brothers” during a 17-mintue rain delay.
In the bottom of the 9th the Indians had tied the game at 6-6. A storm front blew in, and settled on Progressive Field resulting in a 17-minute rain delay. For the Cubs players those rain delay moments would go down as the ones that carried them into and out of the 10th inning as World Series Champions. Apparently during the delay Jason Heyward, Cubs right fielder, gathered his teammates in the weight room for a team meeting. In the words of Chris Bryant to Fox:
“It was the best thing for us, We all got together in the weight room. We all supported each other….talking us up, gettin’ us ready”
“…in that moment, saying those things that needed to be said. That’s an ultimate leader right there.” Ben Zobrist
“It was a great message,” David Ross said
“It was,” Rizzo said, “the best rain delay of all time. It kind of settled us down, got us regrouped.”
So what in the world did the quiet, gentle giant, Jason Heyward say to his teammates?
When asked about the team meeting, Heyward told Fox:
“I just had to remind them of who they were. I just had to remind everybody who we are. … Win or lose, we were never worried about that… The beginning of every day, we never worry about wins or losses, we just worry about how we’re gonna go out there, have fun, compete, be right there for the guys next to us, and not take the situation for granted.”
Later Heyward said, “I let them know that I loved them.”
Maybe not in this particular moment, but some moments in life need a Divine rain delay. A moment to stop the game to be reminded of who we are, that we aren’t playing the game alone, and we are loved. Whatever the case may be, the power of a moment like that sends us back into the game, ready, and confident that we will be victorious, because we play for the winning team! Be looking for the Heyward moments. I guarantee that it’s raining hard somewhere and a meeting needs to be called. You could be the encouragement that pulls the tarps off the field for someone and sends them back into the last inning to claim victory
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us].”
Romans 8:37 (AMP)