Dr. Andy and Renie Bowman
Dr. Andy and Renie Bowman
By Dr. Andy and Renie Bowman

The stranger in the tiny town walked up to the sandlot baseball field to watch a group of loud and excited ragtag boys playing a pickup game of baseball.

After a few minutes of listening to the crack of the bat, watching the ball sail over the heads of the outfielders, and watching several runners cross the plate, he moved to stand directly behind the sweaty catcher at home plate.

“Hey, bud, what’s the score?”

The catcher turned to answer him during a lull in the action and replied, “We’re behind, 24 to nuthin’.”

The man smiled and asked indulgently, “Reckon it’s time to call the game and head on home?”

To which the boy emphatically responded, “Heck no! Shoot fire, Mister, we just ain’t got up to bat yet! Things are fixin’ to change!”

I find myself smiling every time I think of that story. That kid knew a lot more about living with optimism and spirit than most adults I know. Somewhere in his short background, he caught on to how life could be lived. Evidently, he already had learned a few things, like:

• Never judge the outcome of a situation before the end of that situation. You cannot possibly know for certain what is in the future. You can hope, you can predict, you can pray. But to absolutely know…well, better leave that one up to God.

• Do not put yourself in the position of judging an issue where you are not involved. In other words – tend to your own knittin’. Better to keep your nose healthy and whole than to have it stuck into others’ business and have it chopped off. I’m predicting that if your interference is wanted, someone will let you know.

• Keep your chin and your spirits up, no matter how dismal the circumstances may appear. That young catcher refused to be discouraged by the evidence on the scoreboard. His expectation of a turnaround was infectious – just as much as discouragement would do the same.

• Surround yourself with like-minded team players. This catcher for the team must have had confidence in his teammates. He must have felt that he was part of a team that wanted to win, rather than playing catcher for a team that caved at the first sign of defeat.

Another lesson to learn from this story. Avoid being a member of the local “cold water committee.”

The stranger at the ball game thought the game was over long ago, and said so. The boy was just waiting for his chance to do what he thought he could do. Tell me something, which attitude will carry the boy further in life?

Finally, enjoy the game you are playing, no matter the score at the end. What is the use of playing if you do not enjoy the game? Look for people and things to appreciate in every inning. If you win, that’s always great. And if you lose, well, you still enjoyed playing the game you loved.

The new “Coffeetime With Andy & Renie Podcast” can be found at coffeetimecolumn.com or your favorite podcast server. Send responses to: andybowman839@gmail.com. Note: The Bowmans are new columnists for The Highland County Press.