The Chicago Cubs last won the World Series in 1908 and did not win again until 2016- a period of 108 years. As a baseball fan there is the attitude of “wait until next year” with the hope that next year will be the year. With the Cubs winning the Series, there were many great stories of people who had dreams of a championship fulfilled. None of those stories are as moving as the story of Mabel Ball. Mabel had been waiting her whole life to see her Cubs win the World Series. Literally.
You see, Mabel was born in 1908- the last time the Cubs had won the championships. For the next 108 years, the Cubs would come up short. Certainly, there were some good teams, great players, and heartbreaking losses. Mabel lived to be 108 years old and lived long enough to see the Cubs win the World Series this past October. Mabel died six days after the Cubs victory. Her son said,
“The cruel irony, the almost unbelievable irony, is that the person who waits and waits and waits, after it happens, says, ‘I’ve done what I’ve got to do, and I’m out of here,'” Rich Ball told the paper. “It ain’t funny, but it’s funny.” –Rich Ball (Mabel’s Son)
In Luke 2, there is a man named Simeon. He was righteous and devout. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he “had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” Can you imagine what that would be like? Both looking and waiting to see the Messiah- the Promised One who would heal the world of our sin sickness- and being able to die knowing that God continues to be faithful to his promises.
I imagine Simeon waking up each morning thinking, “Perhaps today is the day.” Or maybe he walked around the Temple looking at the children there expectantly listening to the Holy Spirit to point out this Messiah to him. Simeon faithfully waited, watched, and looked for the Messiah. While scripture doesn’t indicate how long he lived, Simeon could die happy and fulfilled knowing that he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
This is our call during Advent- to wake up each day thinking, “Perhaps today is the day that Jesus will return.” Imagine how that mindset would change the way we live. I’d like to think we’d invite others to watch for Jesus with us. I imagine we’d change some of our priorities. I imagine that even in the waiting that we’d see God’s hand at work in ways we had never seen because we have made a priority of watching.