Rain delay


Happy Summer! 

As I am sitting here typing this, the Red Sox just started playing after a four-hour rain delay. Last night they had a two-hour rain delay. 

Both times after the rain delays, the Red Sox came out swinging and hitting well. The announcers keep commenting on the fact that it is not often that players do so well after a long delay, because they have to make sure that they stay ready. 

This made me think of two elements in the life of a Christian. First it reminds me of the Bible passage about always being prepared for Christ’s return. St. Paul writes to the Thessalonians, “For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1Thes 5:2). 

Christ, as well as many saints, often remind us to be ready for His return because we do not want to be caught unprepared. We prepare for so many things in our life but are we spending time preparing to meet Christ? We run to the store before a storm to buy our milk and bread. We go on Amazon and order party supplies for our Fourth of July celebrations. We clean our house to prepare for guests to come over. We are often trying to make sure that we are ready for important events in our lives, but we often neglect the most important one. 

In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, Jesus tells us about the 10 women who wait for the bridegroom and how five of them bring extra oil for the lamps and five of them do not bring any. Those who did not have extra oil had to leave to get some and they missed the arrival of the bridegroom. They were unprepared during a delay for what was to lie ahead of them (Mt 25:1-13). We must be constantly working to ready ourselves for the time we meet Christ. 

The other thing this made me think about is what do we do with the time we have while we are “in a delay”? Sometimes we are waiting for something to happen in our lives and we do not prepare for what is to come. We are hoping for something to happen, but oftentimes when it does, we are caught off-guard because we were not preparing ourselves for the results. 

The dictionary says that a delay is a “period of time by which something is late or postponed.” It is true that the intentions that we pray for can get an answer of “no,” but oftentimes it can be a “not yet.” A delay just means that God is preparing us for the graces we are going to receive. We need to use this time and prepare for what is about to come. 

They asked some of the players what they do during the rain delay and their answers varied. Some played cards, some watched shows, some listened to music and some stretched. They had different ways of getting ready during the delay. 

Being prepared for what God has in store for us does not always mean that we need to be physically doing something. For example, Xander Bogaerts was one of the players who said he was playing cards. Now that might not sound like he was preparing for the game to return to action, but for him, he needed to relax and clear his mind. 

When we prepare during the delays in our Spiritual life or to meet Christ, we need to find a way that best helps us to be ready. Of course the Sacraments are our main source of grace, but we also might need to add to this as well. 

Author Dr. Robert Schuller once wrote, “God’s delays are not God’s denials.” Just like the rain delay in a baseball game, what we are hoping for is being prepared for us during better conditions. Use that time in a delay to prepare yourself for the grace that is yet to come. 

And as author Tony Evans once wrote, “God’s time is always perfect. Trust His delays. He’s got you.”

Anchor columnist Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in Cranston, R.I. She can be reached at atarantelli@bishopstang.org.

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