On perseverence and being a Cubs fan

chicago_marmon_9728_on_route_85-central_ave_1968I remember one summer afternoon in 1969. I was thirteen and was visiting my older sister who lived on the north side of Chicago.

I was coming of age and ready to make the pilgrimage to complete the sacred rites of being a diehard Cubs fan.

With about three dollars in change stuffed in my pocket, I walked over to the Clark Street bus stop, paid my 45 cents to the driver (when you could still do that!) and proceeded south to the Addison Street stop.

I got off the bus and there it was…Wrigley Field…the Cubbies temple shrine…bigger than life! I went over to the ticket window, paid my $1.50 for a grandstand seat, went through the turnstiles and beheld the “Friendly Confines” in all its vine-covered glory!

banks-santo_retired_numbersI was actually going to see my heroes…Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo!

It would be a double-header and their ace, Fergie Jenkins, would be pitching one of the games. It was an unforgettable experience. Not only did they win both games but I got some autographs afterward.

The Cubs were firmly in first place and all was right with the world.

Of course, you baseball fans all know what happened that fall…yup, “the amazing Mets.”

Nevertheless, 1969 marked the beginning of my long and happy delusion as a devoted Cubs fan—always high hopes in April, only to have them dashed by mid summer. A few times they broke out and actually made it into the playoffs, including last year. But again…hopes dashed.

wrigley_field_marquee_grandstand_exterior_img_2339I got married in 1980 and Maureen and I raised three boys. We would occasionally take them to a game (when we were still living in the city) in order to pass this sad family legacy on to the next generation.

Having lived their formative years in Chicago, our sons have been Cubs fans ever since, even though they live in other more successful baseball markets now. We’ve spent many years commiserating together over our perennial disappointment. As comedian and Cubs fan Bill Murray said recently, it builds character.

But then this year happened!

The Cubs are actually in the World Series. What?!?! Is the world coming to an end? After 71 years of rebuilding, the Cubbies are finally returning to the fall classic!

ty_cobbKeep in mind, the last time the Cubs were in the World Series was at the end of World War II; the last time they actually won it (1908) they were playing against Ty Cobb! Back then, Baseball cards weren’t found in children’s bubble gum packages but in tobacco products!

108 years is a long time.

Which brings me to this weekend. Two of our sons are flying in from the west coast just to “be there” around Wrigley while history is being made, win or lose. When this gets posted, Maureen and I will be in Chicago to see them (but we’re not going down to be part of all the craziness!)

What does all this have to do with anything on this blog? Probably not much, except to say that God tells us He will never give up on us either, no matter how many times we may fail Him.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb.13:5b NKJV)

So…go Cubs go! 🙂

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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4 Responses to On perseverence and being a Cubs fan

  1. And I’m watching also. Great piece. Hope your family enjoys the games win or lose. its very exciting and i’m a southern girl just loving the game. Thank God he never gives up on us.

  2. AfroScot says:

    “108 years is a long time”. God never gives up on us. Why do we easily give up on others? We love the idea of receiving the grace of God but not extending that grace towards others. That we may see how much we are loved by God and love his sons and daughters in return.

    Thanks Mel for this article.

    • Mel Wild says:

      That’s exactly right, AfroScot. Extending grace comes from letting God deal with our hearts; otherwise, we will hurt people while claiming grace for ourselves. God never ever gives up on us; we should learn how to love others the same way. Thanks for your comments. Blessings.

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