Last Monday we ordered tickets for the Texas Rangers playoff game that took place on Saturday. Lea and I couldn’t wait to tell the boys we’d be going. All week long we talked about how much fun we were going to have as a family. I couldn’t wait to make some more memories as a family. I also did my best to rub it in the noses of all my friends that I’d be at the game and they wouldn’t.
Due to Cooper’s flag football game on Saturday, we weren’t going to be able to get to The Ballpark in Arlington until just before the game. We rushed around Saturday morning, got our lunches and coolers packed and were off by 11:30. A fast four hour drive would give us just enough time to get parked and get to our seats by first pitch.
When I saw the sellout crowd at the stadium, I decided to drop the family off at the corner and go find parking. I told them I’d meet them at our seats. Looked like we were going to make it just in time for the first pitch.
Just a few minutes later I found parking, paid them my $10 and was off to meet Lea and the boys. I was still walking to the ballpark when Parker sent me a text that said to meet them at the ticket office for new tickets, because our printed tickets weren’t scanning at the gate. When I got within about 100 yards of the ballpark Taylor called and said, “Dad, our tickets are not right. Our tickets are for a different game!”
Long … sad story short … Lea and the boys just found out that our tickets wouldn’t work for this game. Somehow we’d printed, ordered or were given the wrong tickets.
I watched Lea and the boys all walk towards me, away from the ballpark, while the other late-comers were walking towards the ballpark. Their faces couldn’t hide the disappointment. I felt horrible. I felt HUGE amounts of guilt. I had ordered the tickets, I was in-charge of that one thing … and I’d failed.
When they walked up, I could only do one thing, apologize. I think I said, “I’m sorry!” at least 100 times. They were all very forgiving of their mistake-prone father. We went to the car and drove away from the ballpark. It would be another 4 hour drive home that was really quiet. We stopped for supper a couple hours down the road at Buffalo Wild Wings, where we could watch the end of the game. The Ranger’s loss was just a little more salt in the wound.
It will be a long day that the Morgan family will never forget. In all of it, there were a couple of lessons I learned (yes, besides making sure I have the right tickets). Here’s what learned:
- As much as I hated disappointing my family, I’d ALWAYS rather fail them intellectually, than spiritually or morally.
- As we stood outside the ballpark unable to get in, the crowd cheered wildly at something inside. Cooper looked up at me and asked, “Dad, what do you think just happened?” It broke my heart to tell him, “I don’t have a clue, son. We don’t get to go in.” When I die, I don’t ever want to get that close to heaven … to hear the shouts of joy, the cheering and celebration, only to find out I don’t get to go in. I want to confidently lead my family up to those pearly gates … have my ticket scanned (Jesus) and hear it said, “Welcome, we’re glad you’re here. Come on in and join the celebration.”