Short Time, Huge Impact (I)

February 12, 2010

(Every week, I write a brief [300 words] article for the Saturday Religion page of the historic ‘New Braunfels Herald- Zeitung’ newspaper.  I decided to begin my posting with the first installment in my current mini-series.  In this column, sometimes I get very direct with the gospel and other times I just try to give the readers something to ponder that can be beneficial in their lives.  See what you think.)

For the next several weeks, I am going to describe a series of cameos that had a huge impact on my life.  Some of these rapid-fire “mini-events” will be positive, some negative, but all have been very important learning experiences.  If nothing else, I hope you will grasp that the significance of a happening in life is not in proportion to the time involved.

The first of my quick-occurring, long-lasting snapshots happened when I was 12 years old, playing my last season of Little League baseball.  Where I lived in rural Mississippi, the league champion played the all-stars from the rest of the league in the all-star game at the end of the season.  My team won the league and the game was on our field.

The all-stars were leading 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth (the last inning in Little League play).  There were two runners on base and two out when I came to bat.  Would I be the hero of the game or the “goat” who made the last out?

In just seconds that froze in time, I swung and hit the ball over the left field fence, only to have the outfielder reach up and make a great catch.  Already in a home run trot, I was stunned to realize that I had, instead, made the final out—a very long, very well-hit out!

For much of my life, that painful moment made me feel as if I would be destined to get “close” to great success, always falling just short.  But, I never shared those feelings with anyone else until recent years.  How helpful it was to finally get that totally-out-of-proportion-to-reality distorted picture out of my mind, in the clear light of day, where it could be corrected!  Have you ever had a mental image that dogged your tracks in that way?

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