St. Louis, Missouri, on October 27, 2011, is Game 6 of the World Series: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers. The Rangers lead the best of 7 series, 3 games to 2. My hometown Cardinals are on the brink of elimination; one more loss and the Rangers are World Champions. I am blessed to be a guest at Game 6, which is now remembered as one of the best world series games ever because of the heroics of David Freeze who tied the game in the 9th inning with a triple and won the game in the 11th on a home run. But that isn’t my focus, it’s on Lance Berkman, who doesn’t get talked about for that game. The game went back and forth until the 7th inning when the Rangers jumped ahead. At the end of the 8th inning, I noticed the Ranger fans who occupied a couple of luxury boxes were lining up to go onto the field to celebrate their victory. Ugh. In that 9th inning, before David Freeze stepped up and hit his game tying triple, Lance Berkman had the patience to take a walk, which at that point made him the tying run. Then again in the 10th inning, the Cardinals trailed by one run and Lance Berkman was up to bat. With 2 outs and 2 strikes, one strike away from defeat, Lance hit a single which helped the tying run to score. The Cardinals won in the 11th inning on a David Freeze home run, and then won game 7 to become World Champions.
Most of us dream of being David Freeze. I know I do. We want to be the hero, we want to do something special, or accomplish a difficult task and bask in recognition. But David Freeze never could have done what he did without Lance Berkman.
Yet most often, when we’re faced with an overwhelming challenge, we want to do it by ourselves. We want to control it all and do it all, but it doesn’t work that way. We need to be satisfied doing our best, making our contribution at that time, in that moment. We need to do what we do best and let others do what they do best.
I heard it once said,
“The most you can do, is all that you can do.”
In the opening story, all Lance Berkman could do was take a walk and later get a base hit. It was the best he could do in those circumstances. Small contributions lead to big results.
What about you? You were created for a purpose. You were given special gifts. Sometimes, you just need to do what you do, and do it well. That’s your contribution.
Often when I speak to someone preparing for a job interview, they are full of anxiety, because they want to answer everything perfectly. They are stressed that one mistake will cost them the job. In those moments I remind them to be themselves, to be who God created, and once they’ve done their preparation to stand still and let God take over.
My favorite scripture about this comes from the book of Ephesians.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
Focus on those last 7 words. When you’ve done everything you can do, just stand still and let God take over.
You don’t have to do it all yourself.
Awesome again this week, Dale! I’ve often thought that the 10th inning heroes of that game do not get enough credit. Inexplicably, baseball is a game of momentum. As I watched that game at home, I despaired when the Rangers took a 2-run lead in the 10th. It is one thing to turn the tide once, but to do it twice in two innings? But once Berkman drove in the tying run in the 10th, I knew that the Cardinals would win the game. Thanks for the reminder that some days God wants us to be the quiet, unsung heroes.