Last year pitcher Jason Motte needed surgery. It was a huge loss to watch our World Series closer take a back seat, and be put on the injured list. Because of that situation, the Cardinals had no choice but to move forward. Trevor Rosenthal stepped in and filled that huge need. As it turned out, the loss of Motte didn’t seem like such a devastating loss because of Trevor’s remarkable ability. I was thrilled to see a man, who grew up not far from where I lived as a boy, take over and bring us back to the World Series. This year an interesting thing happened: A healthy Jason Motte returned, and it was a very successful return as he went through two innings without missing a beat. Now the Cardinals ultimately have two closers at their disposal! This is a wonderful thing, and reminds us that we must always move forward. Two years ago very few of us could have anticipated that Rosenthal would take Motte’s spot. And that ‘s the funny thing. Because if we just had a glimpse of the future--like Trevor becoming the closer--we wouldn’t have believed it without having the background knowledge that Motte would get injured. The Cardinals had to move forward and so do we.
When Jesus ascended into heaven, the physical presence of the Savior of the world was eliminated. It had to be difficult for the people to understand this new situation. It was one of those moments when they knew their lives were forever changed. They were going to have to move forward without Jesus, and after being with Him for three years, they were just getting comfortable having Him there all the time. Then it all changed. We so often think what a powerful event the Ascension had to have been, but there also must have been much sadness along with the need to prepare for moving forward.
God gets us ready to move forward no matter the situation. Whether it’s a pre-school director who has been with us for over 30 years, or Leslie’s familiar voice when she answers Mt. Calvary’s phone, God prepares us to move forward. My prayer is that while we are embracing change over the next several months, God will also help us to make that forward move. I know these times will be challenging, but I am confident that God will provide everything we need to move forward.