How do you respond to a devastating experience? The choices range from hope, depression, to denial. This past week the sports world showed us two sides of devastation, the beginning of it and the triumph over it. If you are a college football fan, your heart had to go out to Marcus Lattimore and his knee injury. I’m a Gator fan but I hated to see this University of South Carolina young man go down. Lattimore is not only praised for his running ability, but he is praised for his character and strong work ethic.
Latimore’s injury reminded me of another devastating injury. On May 25th, 2011 the San Francisco Giants were playing the Florida Marlins. At the end of this game the Giants’ catcher Buster Posey suffered a devastating leg injury also, from a collision at home plate. The shock and pain on Marcus Lattimore’s face, as he laid there on the football field reminded me of the pain Buster Posey was going through while beating the ground in pain after his injury.
What gives me hope in all this is what I witnessed Sunday night October 28th, 2012. The final pitch of the World Series was thrown to Buster Posey for a third strike and his second championship. This is the same Buster Posey that came back from devastation to win the MVP of the National League. Yes, it’s the same Buster Posey that won the Hank Aaron Batting Award, and the same Buster that hit a two run homerun in the final game of the World Series. That happens to be the same World Series that was a four game sweep.
I witnessed almost all of Buster’s home baseball games when he was in high school. He was a kid that everything seemed to go right for which was a lot because of his lifestyle. I can remember when I first started watching him, I would always say a prayer under my breath when he came up to bat. Don’t act like you have never said a prayer at a sporting event. The ball parks are very spiritual places. I would usually pray, “Lord, help him get a hit.” However, somewhere during Buster’s junior year at Lee County High, I began just to pray, “Lord, just let this pitcher throw him something he can hit.” Watching Buster, one knew he had college and major league talent. His working hard in all aspects of life made things click for him in life and when he singled out baseball as his sport that was it. However, real character is not always noticed until it is tested. Posey’s character and work ethic was tested on May 25th and the months that followed.
As much as I can know about Marcus Lattimore, I see a young man of natural talent but also one of character with a strong work ethic. I believe he will also comeback from his leg injury. My prayer for Marcus is that he not only come back from it, but that he triumphs it.
Seventeen months after May 2011 it was awesome to watch the catcher for the San Francisco Giants jumping up and down in a World Series celebration. I hope one day Marcus Lattimore’s legs are experiencing the same triumph in the NFL. That’s what hope is all about, and I choose hope.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Job 13:15
My hope is in You. Psalm 39:7