I have been very fortunate to have always been associated with strong teammates that would never quit. They have always fought for something greater and would never be intimidated to play anyone nor would they ever think that any game was out of reach for us to win.
Back in college, my team had to win two games in the conference championship to win the title. We won the first game and came back from being down by 5 runs in the last inning only to win it with a 3-run walk off home run to win the title.
As a coach, twenty years later, my team made it to game 3 of the state championship series. We lost the lead in the last inning only to battle back and score two in the bottom half with a walk-off to rightfield with a ball that was 4 inches off the plate.
But I have this one teammate now that is stronger than anyone I’ve ever competed with. I do sometimes have to lift up, sometimes have to be a cheerleader to, and yet sometimes my teammate needs to jerk me up and get my head straight. This game that we are playing now is very challenging. But I learn so much from watching my teammate….most of all the mental toughness to never accept defeat and how to never take a play off.
The opponent is very scary and seemingly unbeatable to those with little faith, especially if you are scared of losing. Thankfully, my teammate and I, through years of experience of playing this game, understand that no matter when the game is over…the most important part is that we played every inning, every pitch to the best of our abilities and that we are playing for something much greater than ourselves.
Our Coach keeps reminding us to respect the game and go full speed….honor the game by playing it the “right way”. Our Coach wants us to pay little attention to what inning we are in and focus on the things He teaches us, pitch by pitch.
We respect and love our Coach, more than we love ourselves, because we have seen just how much He cares for us. We have seen the dedication He has made in our lives to prepare us for the moment we are in now. We are eternally grateful for the practice. We understand and accept that not everything will go the way we desire. We know there will be innings that we will lose, pitches that we will miss on.
The opponent that we play now is undefeated, because everyone will eventually lose to their time here in this world. The game of life is very challenging, but our Coach has us believing that we are undefeated and an eternal Championship awaits as He will hoist us up after we play out that last pitch. We don’t play for trophies.
We play this game as hard as we can play for our Coach and teammate every day to honor this life and opportunity that we have been given. We are determined to make the biggest impact on the game, while we can. In the end, wins and losses won’t be remembered. YOU MUST FIND SOMETHING GREATER TO PLAY FOR…if you don’t, why even play the game?….#biggerthanball
*Jennifer Lowrey, Coach Lowrey’s teammate in life, is awaiting the opportunity to go back to Duke Medical for her 2nd Double Lung Transplant. She received her 1st transplant on January 28, 2011 after suffering from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis for 10 years.