I hate baseball!
There you have it. Just as my delay in seeing The Passion of The Christ calls my citizenship in heaven into question, I feel certain that my loathing of America's past-time also calls my United States citizenship into question. But there it is — I hate baseball.
So God, having the fabulous sense of humor I feel any loving Creator should have, sent me a son. A son, who, in his 7th year, wants to play baseball more than anything. Soccer? Nope. Basketball? Nothin' doin'. Baseball? Sign him up!
Sign him up we did. Now we've invested in cleats, hats, socks, belts, and numerous other items that seem to be essential for playing a game of baseball. Now I spend my evenings sitting in the not-yet-warm West Texas wind watching small children learn to "throw a string, not a rainbow." I figure in a one hour Little League game (and I think I'm being optimistic to assume it will only last an hour) that the ball in motion and all subsequent action will total approximately 12 minutes of that game. My son's part in the action may total about 4 minutes. Again, I believe myself to be an optimist.
I admit that my disdain has had to give way to minor dislike as I watch the enthusiasm that my son has for the sport. Minutes waiting for practice to begin (PRACTICE, mind you – we haven't even had a game yet!) are painstaking agony. Minutes at practice fly by all too quickly. The little leaguer gushes with knowledge and excitement after each practice.
Finally, last night I admit my heart thawed totally toward the sport. I commented, in all honesty, "Well, I'm really glad that you seem to like it."
His response was nothing less than incredulous: "Like it?!?! Are you kidding?!?! It's the best thing that ever happened to me!!!"
Now, keep in mind that my son's life is not necessarily fraught with hardship — unless you count unloading the dishwasher and feeding the dog difficult manual labor. But, if baseball is the best thing that ever happened to him, then buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, I don't care if I never get back from the old ball game!
I have laughed to myself at how little it took to change my view of the game — simply the fact that it is the delight of one of the loves of my life. I believe that those of us blessed to be parents are given that task in order to get a tiny glimpse into God's love for us.
Lately, I have been perplexed by the verse "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4) What if the desire of my heart involves 6-pack abs and single digit clothing sizes? I have no hard and fast answers (nor hard abs), but I do know that this spring West Texas day was one of the best things that ever happened to me. And I do believe that it tickled God to no end for me to tell Him so. I also believe that as I continue to pour out my heart to God and know Him as the loving parent He is, the desires of my heart will more closely match His. Without a doubt, HE is the best thing that ever happened to me!