America's Favorite Pasttime

I finished up a conference in Nebraska yesterday afternoon and had one free night before my flight this morning. Being in Nebraska in mid June, it's only natural that one attend a College World Series game.

We arrived at the beautiful TD Ameritrade Park right as the anthem was being sung, settling down into our seats with a 95 degree sun shining down on us. We were a solid inning and a half in when the blue safety message came across the reader board, "Baseball fans, we are now under a weather delay..." Really?! Seriously?! I have one day in Nebraska to see a ball game and now we have a weather delay?

Over the course of the next hour an ominously black cloud consumed the sky surrounding the ballpark, eliminating all light as if the sun had decided to set two hours early. The lighting commenced, creating a natural strobe light in the clouds, followed rapidly by monstrous claps of thunder. A cool breeze came across the thousands huddled under the concourse, having been evacuated from their seats. Then it rained. And rained and rained and rained... and rained some more. The field became nothing more than a nicely groomed and well kept swamp. We were miserable and had nothing to do except sit under the awning, shielding ourselves from the spray of the wind hitting the rain.

Then we saw them. Emerging from the dugout were two Ole Miss players sprinting into the horizontal rain, slipping and sliding across the tarp covered infield which they fancied into a grown up slip n' slide. As one slid head first on top of a covered pitchers mound and the other clumsily fell on his hip, cheers erupted from the damp, formerly depressed audience and smiles returned to the faces of the thousands still marooned in the ballpark. Minutes later the rain let up and the stands, which had been quieted by the storm for over an hour returned to the electric atmosphere which usually accompanies a baseball game.

I journaled about this event last night and found countless lessons to be learned from it, but for me it all  boils down to perspective. Whether we're playing in game 12 of the College World Series or simply trying to run a few errands, we all know life's journey is going to be accompanied by some pretty ominous storms. Are we going to sit in the stands groaning as our field is turned into a swamp, or will we run head first into the rain and turn the whole thing into a giant slip n' slide? Regardless of what choice you make, always remember that with every action you take, there are going to be some people in the stands needing something to cheer for.

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