I know, I know...that's not something a Clemson graduate/fan should ever say...well, I'm saying it. Yes, it was painful to see Carolina walk all over the Tigers in the game tonight, at the College Baseball World Series, but when USC pitcher, Michael Roth (who did pitch an amazing game) told the reporter about the "BT" stitched on his cap, it did make it okay...VERY okay. The team needed to win, not just to advance in the series, but because they, and the rest of the Gamecock community experienced a painful loss on Thursday, when one of their most ardent fans, seven-year old Bayler Teal, lost his two year fight with cancer. Roth was obviously moved by the loss, and wisely reminded us all that the biggest game in life is never baseball, football, soccer, etc.
As I found out more about Bayler, I was reminded about what the biggest game is....the greatest game... is love. This was an amazing kid...case in point: some time ago some players visited Bayler (they have done so repeatedly since finding out about him)in the hospital and gave him gifts, including a poster of the team signed by the team. As Captain Munnerlyn started to give the poster to Bayler, Bayler asked if they would give the poster to the little boy across the hall. Bayler told Captain that the other little boy did not get visits from Gamecock players.
Bayler was five at the time, but a teacher for all of us who get so upset when things don't go our way, or when someone cuts us off in traffic, or defeats our ball team(fill in any shallow, "doesn't matter in the long run" excuse to get mad, irritated, frustrated, or angry). Though appreciating the wonderful encouragement from the Gamecock team, he was still concerned about a sick friend across the hall who also needed encouragement.
So my prayers go out to the Teal family. You can read more about Bayler here (http://www.postandcourier.com/blogs/cws/?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&UID=36f5ded1-8b94-4e13-b3a2-ef1ed4358ee0&plckPostId=Blog%3a36f5ded1-8b94-4e13-b3a2-ef1ed4358ee0Post%3aba466623-8513-4110-8581-4502414d2890&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest)
So I'm very okay with USC's victories on Thursday and Friday, because one of their smallest, yet, wisest fans deserved it! Whoever wins the series, what's ultimately important is whether or not we have learned the two most important things in life are to love God and to love others. (See Matt. 22:34-40). No matter what game you like, or team you support, don't neglect playing this most important game, and as Bayler Teal teaches us all....LOVE WINS!