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Down Two, Two Out, and Two Strikes

October 31, 2011

The St. Louis Cardinals are unlikely baseball champions. In August, they were so far back in the standings, it seemed they had little chance of making the playoffs, let alone winning the championship. Their run just to get to the World Series was filled with drama. 

The story reached legendary proportions in game 6 of the World Series. In the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals were trailing by two runs with two outs and two strikes on the batter. One more strike would end the game and result in their elimination from the competition. These are epic circumstances to overcome one time in a whole season, but the Cardinals over came them twice in the same game in the World Series! That game has become an instant classic and a most dramatic illustration of the importance of perseverance. 

Down two, two outs, and two strikes… that describes how we can feel about life. Our health is failing and nothing seems to help us out: down two, two outs, and two strikes. We are looking for a job, but we aren’t even getting a response from our applications: down two, two outs, and two strikes. We are applying for an educational program, but have been rejected multiple times: down two, two outs, and two strikes. We have done everything we know how to work through a broken relationship, but the pain only increases: down two, two outs, and two strikes. 

Perseverance does not guarantee the success we desire, but quitting guarantees failure. The odds were unthinkable that St. Louis could come back twice when their backs were against the wall, but they did. They never quit. They never stopped trying. 

As long as we have breath, we have one swing left in our bats. Whatever you are up against that seems overwhelming, take time today to ask God to give you the strength, insight, or help you need to carry on. Down two, two out, and two strikes, but the game is not over.

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