Last Thursday, we said goodbye to a legend. Lawrence “Yogi” Berra passed away on Sept. 22 at the age of 90–sixty-nine years to the day of his debut in the major leagues with the New York Yankees.
Berra will always be remembered as a great player–he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972–and also as a great manager and a great man. But most of all, he will be long remembered for his “yogi-isms,”the quirky, laughable quotes and expressions about baseball and about life that he uttered throughout his career.
Here are some of the all-time favorites:
- “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
- “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
- “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
- “No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.”
- “Baseball is 90% mental, and the other half is physical.”
- “It’s like deja vu all over again.”
- “You can observe a lot by watching.”
Once when sitting down for a meal, he said, “You had better cut the pizza into four pieces, because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.” Another time he gave this sage advice: “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”
When questioned about some of the famous sayings attributed to him, Yogi replied, “I’ve never said most of the things I said.”
Some of the things he did say didn’t make perfect sense, but perhaps his most famous saying nailed it: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
How many times does that simple, yet profound, statement apply to our lives as followers of Jesus? How often are we ready to give up and throw in the towel, thinking there is no hope for our situation? What blessings might we often miss because we think it’s over, before it’s really over?
The Bible teaches us much about endurance and perseverance, about sticking it out when times are tough, about finishing what we start. Jesus modeled that with His very life, all the way to the cross–and the empty tomb–providing us an example to endure the difficulties we face.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”(Hebrews 12:1-3)
In other words, it ain’t over till it’s over…so, don’t quit.
I am praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I count it such a privilege to be your pastor.