Woke up with an extra spring in my step this morning. Actually, I woke up at 4:30am and had to force myself to fall back asleep. It's Opening Day! Baseball is here! This afternoon (after a year off), my father and I will continue our yearly pilgrimage to the ballpark on the first day of the baseball season. Yes, the Heat run this town and I minister and hold supreme allegiance to my beloved Dolphins, but the sport of baseball is the closest I get to the spiritual realm. Watch Field of Dreams. If you have time (a LOT of time) treat yourself to the best documentary ever made: "Ken Burns' Baseball." There's something about this sport, warts and all, that reminds me of our human condition and our need to find transcendence in the ordinary.
Back in 2000, I bought a book called "Crossing Home: The Spiritual Lessons of Baseball" written by a gentleman whose love for God and baseball led him to intersect these two passions. At the beginning of his third chapter, he writes: "The goal of The Game is to return Home to the origin of the journey. The batter begins a trek which will hopefully lead him Home to complete a circle of accomplishment. On the way he will meet many obstacles and challenges, and many attempts by The Opponent to stop his progress." In the spiritual life, as in baseball, the object is to get home. Our longing to be home with the Father is at the heart of the Christian journey. There will be "outs" and "strikeouts" and "errors" along the way, but the goal is to go from one point to the next and be "safe".
Later today, I hope I will find time amidst all the noise that filters through the modern game to contemplate these great mysteries. I usually do. If not, at the very least, I get to enjoy a baseball game with my father. What can be better than that?