His father was a fisherman. During low tide, he and his friends would fashion fish nets into makeshift baseballs, milk cartons into mitts and use tree branches for bats. The boy who would come to be known as "Sandman" played in it until the tide came in. Not much has changed.
Regarded as the greatest closing pitcher in the history of baseball, Mariano Rivera took the mound -- the hill -- one final time. After recording two outs in the ninth, the waves were crashing near his feet and the sun was setting. So, counterparts Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte went out to get their friend.
"It's time to go," Jeter said.
And that was it. The tide came in. Teammates embraced, tears flowed and millions of fans around the world wept. The man whose job it was to bring an end to games had reached the end of his. The man credited with the most "saves" in history didn't save anything for the next day.
As promised, this week will be a week with a theme. So plan on spending time each day studying the lives of men and women who finished strong for the cause of Christ. Biblical closers, if you will. Some overcoming incredible obstacles to fulfill their God-given dreams; all called by God to finish better than they started. Any names come to mind? Any favorites you hope we cover? I hope you're blessed by what you read.
Friends, Jesus found fisherman on the sand with one goal on His mind, to climb a hill and save us. Because of that, may you and I treat each day like it's low tide.
For Discussion: Just in time, the "Sandman" goes out to the mound after the game to gather a little to take home with him. What a moment in the sand. And if you take a look at this video in its entirety, you'll see the cloud of witnesses -- his teammates -- in the dugout greet and embrace Mo. Imagine the cloud of witnesses awaiting us. Of course, it won't be our life they applaud. It won't be our name they echo. It will be His. We will cry, "Jesus." Is there a better end to a life He saved?