Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning—yes, more than those who watch for the morning.”
Psalm 130: 5, 6 (NKJV)
The call and signal by American League first-base umpire Jim Joyce was emphatic and immediate.
The Cleveland Indian’s Jason Donald was out by a half-step for what should have been the final out to a perfect game pitched by the Detroit Tigers’ Armando Galarraga last Wednesday evening. It would have been just the twenty-first perfect game pitched in Major League Baseball history and the first ever by a Detroit Tigers’ pitcher.
Yet watching Armando Galarraga’s reaction after the call, you would never have known that he had just been unfairly denied a place in baseball history. Jim Joyce, after reviewing the play after the game, admitted he blew the call and stated “I just cost that kid a perfect game. I thought he [Donald] beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.”
Officially it will not be recognized as a perfect game.
Un-officially it always will be a perfect game.
And the handling of the aftermath by the two central figures in the Wednesday’s non-perfect game may very well always be recognized as one of baseball’s perfect moments. A “non-perfect perfect moment.”
Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce will be forever remembered—not so much for their role in the game or missed cal—but in how they handled it. Joyce, a respected twenty-two year veteran, for tearfully and apologetically admitting to everyone, but most importantly to Armando Galarraga, that he made a mistake; and Galarraga, for the calm, classy and forgiving way he handled the situation and respectfully and forgivingly treated Jim Joyce, from the moment it happened through every moment thereafter.
It’s almost as if both men were showing us how to behave in circumstances where things don’t go our way. It is almost as though they both knew that there are more important things in life. Both were disappointed, but both seemed to point to the reality that tomorrow is a new day—that their lives are not defined by things that happen to us or things that don’t happen for us.
Their handling of a disappointing moment reminded us all of something much greater than winning, awards, or achievement for achievement’s sake. Their handling of the moment and the aftermath served to remind us that in the day-to-day moments that unfold before us with each new morning, we have a chance to turn “non-perfect moments” into perfect ones. Where—no matter what happened or happens to us—we move on, forgive, put life in perspective and remember there is much left to do. Where we are reminded that yelling, feeling sorry for oneself about what happened, or blaming someone else for an injustice—will do nothing to move us down the road into all we have yet to do for ourselves and others, so that we can have the impact we were meant to have in the world.
So, how was last week for you? How was this past weekend for you?
Triumphant or disappointment?
Joy or heartache?
The lesson of the “non-perfect perfect moment” of last week teaches us that—no matter what we’ve gone through—there are and remain many more important things in life to which God calls us. They are things that transcend disappointments, heartaches, failures, injustices and, yes, even joys and triumphs. Things that always point us to a more perfect way, often in the most non-perfect moments of life. Things that remind us that perfection comes not in winning, or achievement, or even throwing a perfect game, but in becoming all we were meant to be in and through a relationship with the God who created us.
And through that relationship we realize that each new day, each new morning is full of brand new moments of promise—moments of hope—and ultimately and eternally the assurance of the “perfect game.”
In His Name—Scott