Thursday, March 14, 2019
“What is God Calling me to do?”
I know I have spoken about this issue on more than one occasion. I may have written about it as well – I honestly cannot remember. But, sisters and brothers, let me make yet another request that we acknowledge the uncertainty of life and in life, and take advantage of the time given to us to do what we were sent here to do and to enjoy the company of those whose paths we cross and who dwell with us.
An avid baseball fan and a passionate N.Y. Mets fan, I was caught up in that “miracle” in the summer and autumn of 1969 – the so called “Miracle Mets” and their utterly improbable run to a championship that year. I was a university sophomore in my late teens working both at a summer camp “for underprivileged urban youth” and on “off days” worked at a local beach club in a snack bar, as a waiter / busboy, and as coach of these “privileged” suburban youth basketball team. (I think I did get 8 hours of sleep – total combined all summer!)
I was caught up with a group of perennial professional losers who, thinking back were only about 5 – 8 years older than me. They were led by a young star pitcher who graduated from Stamford University, and whose status in the baseball draft was somehow screwed up by the powers that be – so his name was re-entered into a special drawing, and the N. Y. Mets drew the name of Tom Seaver out of a hat – literally. He was talented, a star, articulate, fiercely competitive and for that summer was not only the best pitcher in baseball, he may have been the MVP of all baseball (except for the prejudice of certain baseball writers who would never deign to give that honor to any pitcher). He may in fact be the greatest star my poor talent deprived team has ever had.
I bring this up because that man is now 74 years old, and it was recently announced that he has been diagnosed suffering from dementia. He will no longer be seen in public. For those of us who have cared for a parent with this disease, as much as we love that person, we know that the cost in terms of emotional and physical capital is not to be believed. And his family will experience this. There will be a major celebration this summer to mark the 50th anniversary of that amazing championship season, and he will not be there. He may not remember that he was on that team. He may not, at that point, remember who he was or is.
The point I make in all this is to remind you: we know not the paths that we will walk in life. We don’t know if we’ll make memories or if we’ll be allowed to keep them. We don’t know how much time we will be given to enjoy the company of others. We don’t know how much time we will have to give love and experience love in return. I often “shoo” folks out of here after meetings are over not only because I am indeed old, tired and probably cranky, but because I hope there are folks waiting for you back home who love you. And you simply don’t know how much time you will be given to experience that love.