As a Georgia native, this was the last thing I needed the very week after the University of Georgia Bulldogs lost to the University of Alabama Crimson Tide in a crucial NCAA Southeastern Conference football game. Not only was I hoping for a Braves’ World Series win, but also for a Bulldogs’ National Championship as well. After all, given that it has now been 25 years and 40 years respectively for each, it’s about time! But I digress…
Now, if you are not a baseball fan, and are therefore wondering if what all I am about to say will have any meaning, don’t worry. The American pastime, as it is commonly known, is easy enough to understand. According to an article in Bits & Pieces Magazine, dated April 30, 1992, a certain lady once passed on this simple explanation of the game of baseball as given by her grandson…
You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's on the side that's in goes out and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When three men are out, the side that's out come in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in out. When both sides have been in and out nine times, including the not outs, that's the end of the game.
And there you have it. The Braves simply succumbed to the ins and outs of the Dodgers, leaving me and a multitude of other fans broken hearted. Oh well! “Always a bride’s maid, never a bride!”
While bemoaning my station as a Braves (and Bulldog) fan, I was discussing this latest disappointment with my mother-in-law. We each agreed that we now wished we had all the time we had spent watching the games back, positing as we did what all we might have been able to accomplish with all that time.
Now, I readily grant that, had the Braves won, I would not have cared. But, given that they lost, I decided to do a little research on the time required to watch a typical baseball game. What I discovered was intriguing to say the least. According to an article penned by Tom Peters in the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspaper, it seems that…
Dick Wade, a Kansas City sportswriter, once decided to find out exactly how much "action" occurred in a baseball game. So, on June 21, 1956, he took a stopwatch to a game between the Kansas City Athletics and Washington Senators and counted the time it took a ball to leave the pitcher's hand until it arrived at home plate; then on all hit balls, he let the clock run until the batter was either out or safe. The total "action" during the two-hour, 28-minute game was 8.5 minutes. Kansas City won, 15-6.
Wow! Two hours, nineteen minutes, and thirty seconds of time spent merely sitting back and waiting for something to happen! Mathematically, that equates to 139.5 minutes out of 148 minutes, or an astounding 94% of the time spent devoid of anything productive happening!
As I have reflected on this, I have been compelled to ask myself just how much of the rest of my life may have been spent so inefficiently in the pursuit of other endeavors!
The Bible reminds us that our time in this world is fleeting. In the Old Testament Book of Psalms, chapter 90, verse 10, we read:
“Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” Given this, does it not then behoove us to ponder just how we utilize the time we have been given?
Perhaps Benjamin Franklin said it best. In the June, 1746 edition of his classic work, Poor Richard’s Almanack, he states: “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.”
For these reasons, I have now decided that, going forward, I will try to be as absolutely judicious with the use of my time as possible. After all, it’s really just about time for such a decision, isn’t it?!
BASEBALL ILLUSTRATIONS: Both baseball illustrations referenced above are available widely online. See, for instance: http://www.higherpraise.com/illustrations/baseball.htm.
SEE ALSO: http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/3055.html.