In the year 1980 I was playing in a men’s softball league with a few of my friends. One particular game I remember vividly because it was in this game that occurred “the greatest catch I (n)ever made.” It was a night game and for those who have played under the lights it can be difficult at times to see, particularly when a ball is hit high and deep into the outfield. This particular game I was playing left field. It was late in the game, we were up a few runs but the bases were loaded with two outs when the batter hit a deep fly ball over my head. As I headed back on a sprint to the fence I feared that the ball was out of the park but just as I reached the fence I caught a glimpse of the ball coming down out of the lights and both the ball and I reached the fence at the same time. I saw the ball hit the top of my mitt just as my body slammed into the chain link fence. The fence gave just a bit allowing my body to bounce off. As I did so I saw the ball ricochet off the top of my glove then skim off the very top of the fence. As I was propelled back onto the field I saw the ball coming back down and I dove with all my might and caught the ball just BEFORE it hit the ground. I jumped up and held the ball high as the umpire raced to the outfield and held his hand high to signal that the batter was out.
My teammates cheered and slapped me on the back all the way to the bench. As I sat on the bench basking in the glory, one of my teammates came up to me and said “That was the greatest catch I ever saw!” I nodded my appreciation and replayed the greatness of my catch over in my mind. Much to my horror, as I did so, I remembered that the ball had glanced off the top of the wall therefore making it an “invalid catch.” Caught up in the emotion of the play I had given the impression to all that I had made a legal catch and had even fooled the umpire into so believing. To this day there are friends of mine who still talk about the “greatest catch” they ever saw. It was however, in my life, the “greatest catch I NEVER made”.
“Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?(John 18:37:38).
So , what is truth? Well, to this day my catch is “the truth” to my friends. In fact, just a couple of years ago I visited a very sickly friend, a former teammate, who was in the hospital. During the course of our conversation he brought up this play and went on an on about how spectacular of a catch it was. I quickly got off the subject and for some reason I didn’t set the record straight. I guess I didn’t have the heart to ruin the story, or perhaps I liked the praise of it all. Either way, the truth is only known to me.
The concepts of man are ever-changing and even our mortal senses can be fooled as was the case with my amazing ‘non-catch.’ In fact recently the scientific community discovered that Pluto is not really a planet. Funny how I was taught as a youth that it was, and now it isn’t. Apparently that wasn’t the truth! How than can we be assured of what is truth? Christ taught us in the scriptures:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
• • • Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:7,13).
Here Jesus Christ teaches us that the Holy Ghost will teach us all truth. It is only through the spirit of Christ that we can be assured of truth. May we live our lives such so that we have the constant company of this great “spirit of truth” so that we won’t be deceived into believing ‘catches” that are just allusions of reality.