Many years ago I coached an age 12 and under softball team. We had a good team - a really good team. Three State Championships, and a top five finish in the National Championships 2 out of 3 years. Seventh was our lowest finish. I still remember those guys. Reggie, Donte, Rocky, Coke, Mike, Harold and the list goes on and on. Such a great bunch of young men. We also had a young man, (whose name I will not mention), he was, let’s say “troubled,” and out of all my young men, he had the least talent. To be quite honest, he was only on our team because he had been kicked off 3 other teams. No one wanted him. To say he was an outcast would be an understatement. When we were approached about taking him, it was said he doesn’t have to play. Just keep him around because he needs special attention. We agreed after a long talk with him about obeying the rules. Which he did not do very often in the beginning. But he had never been on a winning team either. And we were winners.
This young man would have been considered slower than average, with a bad habit of throwing temper tantrums. To be honest, his tantrums were so bad that he never played for any team he was on until ours. I know its different today, but back in the day, there were not participation trophies. You had statistics and win and lose records.
As I was reminiscing, he came to mind, the underdog, the one no one wanted; the boy with the worst attitude ever, and almost no talent. The boy who became loved by an entire team and became a pretty decent backup catcher, with 3 State Championships to his credit. He even got a few hits along the way. As I sit here smiling thinking about the difference that was made in that young mans life. All because a couple of old men took the time to invest in him, discipline him and take him under their wing. This troubled young man became a great young man, went on to graduate and get a good job and was building a future last time I heard from him. Why did I share this story?
I just wanted to say to someone, somewhere, that just because the world thinks you are an underdog, God does not see it that way at all. He equipped you with gifts, talents and abilities. And somewhere along your path, God has placed someone who always takes up for the underdog. I am honored to be that guy for a few underdogs along the way, and I am thankful to those men that invested in this old underdog. I would not be who I am today if it was not for those men and women who took the time to love me, discipline me, and teach me…… by the way, I wasn’t talented much at a younger age either, but ended my little league baseball career as runner up for MVP! You can do anything, you are not an underdog, you are created in the image of God. And if you get a chance, take the time to be a hero to someone who just might think they are an underdog!