Saturday, I got out to run a few needed errands in the late morning. As I finished up and was starting to head home I passed a sign for a rummage sale. I hadn't been to a rummage sale for ages and so decided to stop in, since my errands hadn't taken as long as I thought they would. I was looking at a table full of VHS movies when I heard the guy behind the cash box tell someone that he had three tickets for the college football game to sell. All morning I'd been moping a bit because I was in the town where the game was going to be - it was an Indian summer day and the excitement was not only in the air, but bouncing up and down on campus and all around the downtown shops and cafes. We hadn't been to a college football game since we'd gotten sick and I missed our once a year or so outing.
I heard him say next that his tickets were for one adult and two youth. Brent was working that day and so it was exactly what we would need. As the other man left, I walked up to his table and asked him how much he wanted for them. He said he'd sell me all three for $10. My mind started reeling. When I had left home, Erin had been feeling terrible. She couldn't go to an event that she had been trying to get ready for that morning. Brady had gone to it and I knew he'd be exhausted. I had spent too much of my limited amount of energy, as well. From an earlier inquiry I had learned that game time was at 4:00 - we'd have time to get home, have lunch, and get prepared to go out again, but not to rest. I stood staring at the table which held the tickets. "Who are they playing?" I asked still trying to fight the temptation. "USC," the man answered explaining why he couldn't go, with his boy behind him telling me the Trojan's win/loss record the last three years which was already known to this Pac-10 enthusiast. At that point, I knew it was useless to pay attention to any bodily protests. It was a "no brainer." "Sold!" I exclaimed.
At home, our thoughts volleyed between joy and jublilee to outright panic. We can't go. We have to go. Erin can't go. We all have to go. Brady can go with our neighbors. Somehow, when it was time to leave so that we wouldn't have to walk miles from our parking spot to the stadium, we all managed to get into the car and set off for the game. What a thrill being part of the sold-out crowd as the home team put in a great effort and didn't give up the fight even after falling behind by 13 points with just over five minutes left in the game. We had to leave at that point, but we heard the excitement of the next drive and touchdown by the Cougs as we walked to the car. We listened to the exciting opportunity for the Cougs to score the winning touchdown on the radio as we slipped out of town missing the after game traffic jam. Time ran out and the home team lost by six points, but we felt like we had won the lottery. Better than that, we knew that God had given us a precious gift. "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalm 37:4.