Former Yankee great and baseball Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra, turned 90 on Tuesday. Berra was known, not only for his All Star career, but his “Yogi-isms,” funny quips about life and baseball.
His family, friends, and fans gathered to celebrate his remarkable life and career, and to recall some of his famous “Yogi-isms”
Several years ago, Sports Broadcaster, Brent Musburger, told a story that one Fall day Yogi was burning leaves in his yard. Suddenly the wind picked up, and it was getting harder to get the fire line under control. The flames got a bit more aggressive and headed toward a storage shed on the property. So he ran in to call the fire department for help.
“Hurry!” Yogi shouted into the phone. “I got a fire over here that’s gettin’ outa control.”
It was well before the days of Caller ID and GPS directions, so the dispatcher asked, “How do we get to your house, sir?” There was a brief pause.
Then Yogi replied, “You still got them red trucks, ain’t you?”
When asked about his quips, Yogi once said, “I don’t mean to be funny. Them sayings, they just ‘come out.’ I don’t even know I said ’em! I really don’t.” However, some of his sayings speak to a valuable life lesson that is worth reflection.
“You can observe a lot by watching”
Yogi was right! Too many times we stumble through life without really watching where we are going. What we are doing. Or why we are doing it! The Bible is filled with exhortations to “be alert.” “Be vigilant.” “Be watchful.”
Author, J. Oswald Sanders put this way, “Eyes that look are common. Eyes that see are rare.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Life is filled with decisions. Daily. Some are big while others are seemingly small and insignificant. However, every decision carries some consequence. And each requires a choice. Indecision will drain your power. Paralyze you. And render you ineffective.
“It’s déj vu all over again.”
Yogi once explained this quote came from the early 1960’s. It occurred when he watched Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle hit back-to-back home runs.
However, it reminds of a statement by the Preacher in Ecclesiastes “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (1:9).
Times change. Technology changes. Discoveries are made in science and medicine. And archeological findings unearth new facts about the history of the human race.
Yet, many things remain unchanged. The nature of mankind. The problem of sin. The basic temptations we face. The feelings we experience. The desire for intimate relationships. The need for acceptance, love and forgiveness. Thankfully, we have a God who has graciously revealed the answer to these needs in the person of Jesus and in his timeless book, the Bible.
“Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.”
Great writers, philosophers and thinkers have spoken this truth about life, although in different terms. Thinking, attitude and mind-set are more important components to success in life that mere physical abilities or material advantages.
The wise man said, “As he thinks in his heart, so he is.”
“It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
This quip occurred in 1973 when Berra was managing the Mets. They rallied to erase a 9 ½ game deficit in July to win the NL east.
It’s funny. But true. While there is life, there is hope. With every breath there’s the possibility of improvement, growth and success.
Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Don’t give out. Stay focused. Keep trying. And move forward. Life is made sweeter through dogged determination. And heaven awaits those who “endure until the end.”
Oh, and when you come to a fork in the road? Be sure and take it!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman