Have you ever seen the movie Field of Dreams? I sure hope so because I don’t really know if I can adequately explain it or even if I can, I don’t know if you would get it. Anyhow, here goes. The movie is set in the 1980’s and is about a farmer named Ray Consella. One day while Ray is out in his corn field he hears a voice telling him to build a baseball field. If he does build it then his childhood baseball hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson, could come from the place of the dead and play the game that he loved so much but was banned from. In fact many of the Chicago “Black Sox” would be able to come back and play baseball once again. Just a side note. The Chicago “Black Sox” were the 1919 Chicago White Sox who threw the World Series for money. Once he built the field many dead baseball players were able to come and once again play the game that they loved so much. Ray was sent to find one such player. He was a young man named “Moonlight” Graham. Moonlight Graham had been called up from the minors at the end of a baseball season and only got to play a half of an inning. He got to play in the outfield but never got to bat. He couldn’t bear the thought of being in the minor leagues again so he retired. When Ray found him (in the past, I know, but just try to follow.) he was an old man who had become a doctor in a town in Minnesota. Dr. Graham had been a huge influence in his community as a result of being a Doctor. He had made a difference. His community was better because he had been a doctor there, not a baseball player. Anyhow Ray is trying to convince him to come and play on the field and live out the dream that he had as a child and young man. Dr. Graham refused. He really couldn’t see the point. Ray told him something to the effect of “You came this close to living out your dream and you missed it. Most people would consider that a tragedy!” The wise Dr. Graham leaned forward with a twinkle in his eye and says, “Ray, if I had only gotten to be a doctor for 5 minutes, now that would have been a tragedy.”
Our daughter did something two weeks ago that my wife and I didn’t know how to respond to. She is a high school freshman who decided that she didn’t want to play softball anymore. She wasn’t going to try out for the team. Being the godly and wise parents that we are, we got mad. No really. It really made us mad, disappointed, upset and whatever else you may think. It was like a tragedy in our life. Now listen, I know that my pride and ego are a major player in this story, but putting them aside a second I can say this in all honesty. May daughter is really a decent softball player. And I did get an amount of unhealthy pride out of watching her get a base hit, drive in a run, make a play in the field or steal a base. I really did. You see, that’s my daughter. Her playing good softball in some way validated me as a father. I know that’s weird, but it’s the truth.
Last Sunday night my daughter came in right before worship service and sat down next to me like she does so often. She asked me if she could go to G.A. camp this year as a sponsor. She said that she was old enough to go. She also informed me that she was going to begin helping in G.A.’s on Sunday night. That doesn’t surprise me. Those of you who know her know that she really has a “special” gift. She loves children. She always has. She is so patient and responsible even at her young age. The reason I say she has a “special” gift is not just because she loves children so much, but because they also love her. They are drawn to her. She is the only non adult that I know who is actually invited to work in the nursery because she is actually a help. The children love her. I have seen kids want their JoJo even while they were in their mother’s arms. She has a spirit unlike anyone I have ever met….except her mom of course.
Anyhow, there in the worship service she stood next to me, put her arm through mine and we sang and worshiped together. I swelled inside with love and pride for my daughter at that moment. If she ever stopped having the spirit that children are drawn to, if she ever stopped loving children, if she ever stopped loving and seeking God, if she ever stopped allowing God to use her, if she ever stopped coming and worshiping with her dad on Sunday evenings…..Now that would be a tragedy!