For The Love Of The Game.

Growing up, baseball was a HUGE part of my life. And consequently, a huge part of my family’s life as well. My final summer of playing ball, I played on 5 total teams (highschool, Indiana Amateur Baseball Association, Babe Ruth, Babe Ruth All Stars, and City League). Something close to 100 games between April and September, well,  for a 15 year old is simply ridiculous.Only now do I realize the amount of financial sacrifice this was for my folks.Interestingly enough, that was the last summer I ever played. And the short of it is, I became involved with Campus Life the following year, didn’t make the cut and never looked back.Until today.Here in Denver, they have a men’s Adult Baseball Association, consisting of different age and experience leagues, and even a couple of brackets just for wood bat purists.  I’ve been watching a few games at a high school field not to far from our neighborhood.I was talking with one of the players, and when he learned his team was short a player, invited me to join them. RIGHT THEN. Like, “lace up and get on the field, we play in twenty minutes.”Thinking about how crazy it would be for me to go play baseball (not softball…BASEBALL) I raced home and grabbed my old baseball bag. Actually it used to be my brothers…I stole it when I came across it at my parents house a few years back.Anyway…they had a spare uniform, so I thought what the heck. I played rightfield for 9 innings, and went 1 for 4 at the plate. I actually singled in the 7th or 8th inning! Unbelievable. Oh, and we won! I flubbed a flyball by underguessing and having to make a sprint towards the warning track, but overall, man, I did okay!Kim was at a baby shower so I didn’t even tell her about it until I called her from the dugout somewhere in the 3rd inning.I had a GREAT time, and learned something about myself. One, it’s impressive that even after I’ve spent just as many years NOT playing baseball as I did before (quit at 15…I’m 31 now!) I still knew how to play. Secondly, and more importantly, I’ve learned something about myself today regarding how my brain processes and makes decisions.I’ve typically been a hot-cold kind of person. I tend to go whole hog or not at all. And I tend to make decisions seemingly for life. I’ve also had a past tendency to spiritualize and write something off as having had “God’s blessing removed” or at least for me, as it pertains to a certain central thing in my life at any given chapter so far.Interestingly enough, one of our speakers at KBM has been encouraging me to find a “band of brothers” I can be connected with. And as I’ve begun to start a group to meet every couple weeks to talk, study, and pray together, I’ve also found this group of guys who I know need Jesus, and accepted me even as a VERY rusty ballplayer. Two groups.They asked me to play again next weekend. My brother is coming out to go elk hunting, which I’m looking forward to, but I would be glad to play again.I don’t really expect anyone else to get it, but there’s a thread of redemption in this story for me. Much like that sense of mysticism you encounter watching Field of Dreams. And I’m all about encountering God in redemptive meetings however He designs them.

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