You’ve probably seen the replay by now of what happened in Arlington during last Sunday’s Ranger game. A 28-year-old man dived over a row of seats in pursuit of a foul ball. In his way was a four-year-old fan who was pushed aside and bumped. The man returned to his seat a row behind and victoriously held up the ball as other fans began chanting, “Give him the ball!” He didn’t and that overaggressive act set off a wave of response.
Word of the injustice got back to the dugouts, and before the game was over Ranger and Cardinal players gave the four-year-old two bats and four baseballs, one signed by Nolan Ryan! Later in the week, the family was invited to appear on ABC’s Good Morning America and more good fortune came his way – he was given New York Met souvenirs and tickets to the Mets game.
Turns out, not getting that ball was one of the best things that ever happened!
We all get jostled now and then by overaggressive people. At our feet we find treasures snatched away by someone stronger than us. We get cheated, lose rewards, and sit quietly while others exult in their conquest.
This is particularly the case for Christians who play by the rules, who live unselfishly, who are willing to turn the other cheek. Always has been - always will be! We live as helpless four-year-olds in a world of powerful adults!
But we live this way knowing that there are greater rewards than baseballs out there. We know that the guy sitting behind us won’t have the last word. We know that word of the injustice gets back to the Father. And we know that one day it will be the four-year-old’s day to exult.
It will even turn out that not getting that ball will be one of the best things that ever happened to us.
After receiving his gifts from Good Morning America host Charles Gibson, the four-year-old simply responded, “Wow!” One day, we will do the same!