When I was a kid my dream was to play professional baseball (yes it’s true, I didn’t grow up wanting to be a school administrator… I like to share these things before you hear them on the street).
I held on to this dream up until about a year ago.
Reality finally set in around my 40th birthday. I came to the conclusion that the phone wasn’t going to ring. I am not going to lie; it was painful, but I believe it allowed me to move forward with my life. I felt it was a real sign of maturity (but, the mourning process did take awhile).
Sure, when this realization set in… there was some cursing and a few tears, but eventually I got over it (if you call crying myself to sleep in a fetal position after rocking back and forth for 14 hours, getting over it).
It was true; I would never take the field for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Their loss (if you sense a hint of anger, you would be correct).
I had all of the tools to be successful in the majors.
Actually, I didn’t…have any tools.
The one thing that held me back? Talent.
Good genetics is a cruel, cruel mistress. I was only 7 inches too short, 60 pounds too light, and threw like a girl (my apologies to all girls, especially the ones that can throw).
Anyway, I have moved on. Put all of this ugliness behind me.
Then it happened.
The phone rang.
I got a call to take the field at Busch Stadium with the St. Louis Cardinals.
I just knew they would come to their senses. I almost felt badly for the poor language directed at them during my 40th birthday party (sorry Cardinals, sorry neighbor kids who overheard, sorry Pastor).
My first career choice was finally becoming a reality.
I would be at the game and I would be ready.
I arrived early and got loosened up. Mentally I was prepared to help the team win the game.
Music was playing throughout the stadium as I got ready to jog in from behind the outfield wall in right field.
I had spent my whole life getting ready for this moment. Nothing could stop me.
The gate opened. I could feel the butterflies churning in my stomach.
I ran two steps and then heard an 80 year old usher yell, “slow down buddy, you are going to run over one of the Girl Scouts.”
Yes, I was at the game with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop.
They had been invited to walk around the field before the game. And bring their parent(s).
I could have sworn during the phone call that the team said they needed me to pitch, not chaperone.
Once again, my dream was dead.
Yet another example of God having a sense of humor.
I am more and more sure of it each day.