Keep Going For The Fences; It’s only One Swing Away!


A few years ago I took the elevator down to the visitors locker room in Oriole Park at Camden Yard. I walked with glove in hand from the locker room to the visitors dugout. It was like any other dugout I had been in, except it looked out onto the most beautifully manicured baseball diamond I had ever seen. I found myself positioned at 3rd base. The grass was short, the dirt seemed to be a combination of natures best and man’s additive. The combination left the dirt feeling unusually smooth and almost synthetic. I fielded every ground ball that was hit to me with nary a problem. The bounces were true and straight. I was standing in the footsteps where some of the greatest third basemen of all time had played, including Hall of Famers, Cal Ripkin, Wade Boggs, George Brett, and Alex Rodriquez. I could almost hear the crowds roar of approval as I nonchalantly backhanded a hard grounder down the line which surely would have been a double. I also got to play my favorite position, Centerfield. I caught every fly ball hit to me with ease. My Wilson A2000 glove didn’t betray me. It has been on my hand now some 40 years. Then came the best part of all. I found myself standing in the on deck circle. My time at bat was near. I heard my name announced over the load speaker. As I strode to the plate bat in hand, I looked around into the stands. Suddenly, I saw, my wife standing up in the stands. She looked so beautiful standing there. The sunlight seems to glisten off her blond hair and give her an angelic look. She gave me a radiant smile. It was reminiscent of the scene out of the movie “The Natural”, when Robert Redford, struggling at the plate, looks up into the stands. Suddenly Glen Close, his girl, stands up, and the sun hits her hat just so. Redford gains some kind of “supernatural” power by seeing her, steps into the batter’s box and blasts a Home Run into the stands. As I dug into the box I made up my mind that I wanted to make her proud. I lined a shot into the outfield for a hit, on my first swing! I even hit one that cleared the left field wall!

A few years back I received an invitation from the local church leader to represent the church at Oriole Park at Camden Yard. The PR department of the Orioles had invited representatives of local donors, sponsoring organizations, and dignitaries for a night of fielding and batting practice. The above story of mine, really did happen, just like I wrote. Dreams can be very elusive in this life. Many of them never come to fruition. But, at least for me, for one night it did! For many of us though, this life will be a life of “unfulfilled” dreams. For various and sundry reasons, the universe sometimes seems to hold us back. Events happen, and things don’t turn out the way we expected. Such is life! But, the great dreams we all have for the riches of the eternity are not like our earthly dreams that can often be out of our control. All of our eternal dreams will be fulfilled if we exercise our faith in the Lord and follow His commandments. Eternal rewards sometimes feel far away. But I have no doubt that day will eventually come. My dreams of playing as a Major Leaguer didn’t exactly come to fruition that night, but it was close enough to satisfy this aging ballplayer. My supportive wife even told me I hit better than the other 50 or so guys that took batting practice that night. I don’t know if that’s the truth or not, but regardless, I love her for telling me so! Dreams sometimes do come true. And it did for this old man, for one night,  at “The Yard.”

Keep going for the fences! It’s just one swing away!

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