Play Ball

The two coaches meet at home plate, the decisive ground of all things that matter, the returning point, the alpha and omega. From here the umpire will lay out the ground rules of all that is fair and unfair. The chalk line will give irrefutable guidance and a standard raised high at the end of the questionable right angle will mark an infinite line to govern all decisions that count.  All things outside this ubiquities line, either narrow by millimeters or vast beyond the reach of a thousand cannot be considered.  It is the line, not the distance or proximity that matters. A foul is a foul.  Everyone who matters knows the rules and though some arbitration may arise, only inside these confines is there any lasting satisfaction.  “Players make plays” and leaders seek such men, the unflinching spirit that resides in the soul of the few, because we carry so few words to describe that spirit which always seems to rise when circumstances are greatest.  Keeping the ball between such lines, which count and putting it beyond the reach of all those who’s greatest desire is to put one off the playing field; these are the men the legends. Consistently they are such, at best just one-third of the time.

Our games mirror life in so many ways; as if not knowing, yet somehow knowing fully we construct our own paradigm in ways to compete at, as we should in real life, then glorifying those who succeed at such games the best.  Unfortunately, we see it only as a game, a pastime, the virtuous pursuits are left to those who have lived and loved the game beyond a lifetime; who seem to only explain it well with others who have also shared such dreams in fields that tasted sweet of victory and bitter in defeat.  The paradigm of sacrifice, effort and hope with struggle are lost in those who search all things by intellect alone. Professing to understand yet ignorant of not knowing they don’t know.  Others see only the self-realization and heroics of achievement and quickly point out, that those who play are just boys at heart, youths regardless of age, who have yet to grow up. While Coaches are seen as merely youths in gray hair who have mastered simple strategy and remained for lust or money inside the lines, a “dime a dozen”, though their books are highly read, their virtues less likely save for the tally of their record.

Oswald Chambers wrote: Self-realization only leads to the glorification of good works, whereas a saint of God glorifies Jesus Christ through his good works. Whatever we may be doing- even eating, drinking, or washing disciples’ feet- we have to take the initiative of realizing and recognizing Jesus Christ in it. Every phase of our life has its counterpart in the life of Jesus.

The counterpart may be described in the sports section but the complete story is told elsewhere; in places that only a deep commitment can suffice in opening the ears to hear.  We ought, as Brother Lawrence describes in “Practicing the Presence of God” writes: “give ourselves up to God both in the temporal and spiritual and seek our satisfaction only with the fulfilling of God’s will”.  It might help us see the chalk lines more clearly, the narrow foul versus the un-playable; and, recognize the infinity that stretches beyond the fence. Ain’t it so!

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