In the early Spring of 1969, at the age of 15, I learned an important spiritual lesson. Sometimes the very thing that we want, is not in harmony with Divine Spirit. While our ego pulls us in one direction, the good Lord gently whispers that our Divine destiny lies in an entirely different arena.
When I was a kid, I was a pretty decent baseball player. Then, at the age of 12 when I had rheumatic fever, sports took a backseat to simple survival. For the longest time afterward, my doctor did not want me to play sports. And, the sport I missed playing the most was baseball.
Then, in the Spring of 1969, during my sophomore year of high school, I asked my doctor if I could try out for the high school baseball team. He said that he didn’t think it was a good idea at all. I earnestly listened to the good doctor, but tried out for my high school baseball team anyway.
I lacked the stamina to run the laps, do the exercises, and keep up with the training like the other fellows could. Long story short, I got cut from the team. I remember how devastated I was. But, the wonderful thing about it is that I was given a golden opportunity to learn a most precious spiritual lesson.
The first lesson I learned is that you don’t always get what you want in life. Secondly, I learned that things happen for a reason. Thirdly, I learned that it really is true that when one door closes, another one opens.
My neighbor, Kevin Back, was about four years younger than me. At the age of 11, Kevin showed great promise as a Little League pitcher. Kevin’s dad was a hard working man and had to work overtime a lot in his job, so he didn’t have a lot of time to work with Kevin to help him out with his pitching.
That’s where I found true purpose that surpassed the glory of being on my high school baseball team. Throughout the Spring of 1969, I helped coach Kevin with his pitching. Every day after school and on weekends, I would help Kevin with his pitching. We set up a “home plate” in the back field, behind my old house, and I would be the catcher behind home plate, catching Kevin’s speedy fast ball pitches.
After a couple of weeks, another kid in the neighborhood got a kick out of trying to bat at Kevin’s incredible fast ball. About 80 percent of the time, Kevin would strike out our neighborhood buddy.
That year, Kevin’s Little League team made it to the finals. They didn’t win the big trophy for our town’s Little League championship. But, I did get to see Kevin pitch his heart out in one of those final games. No joke, it was worth getting cut from my high school baseball team to know that, in some way, I helped Kevin become the baseball player who got to pitch one of the final games for our town’s Little League championship.
The thing of it is, that even when it seems we have failed at something, that’s the time we need to remember that Divine Spirit may have a different plan for us, a higher purpose to help someone else. Sometimes true fulfillment of the heart lies in forsaking our ego’s call to glory.
Peace and Harmony, Richard