“Sometimes we are tempted to think that life’s hardships and setbacks, pain and loss manage to make us think there is no such place as heaven and there is no end to the pain. When thoughts like that begin to bedevil us, we need a dose of minor league thinking. Every minor leaguer knows that, no matter how bumpy and uncomfortable and long the road trip to the next ball field might be, the length of his journey never alters the reality of his destination. The trip won’t last forever and the diamond will be waiting for him at the end.” Dave Dravecky
Greetings from Cedar Falls,
I wanted to send a note as I returned from my scheduled checkups in Iowa City last Tuesday and wanted to share an update on my progress. It’s been a frustrating last couple of months as side effects from treatments have been a nuisance. I continue to work with my team of doctors in Iowa City adjusting the plan as I move forward. They are a special group of people who continue to work closely with me to help problem solve the “aches and pains” that accompany the cancer journey. The good news is that the cancer cells continue to appear to be dormant and that is most certainly a positive! There appear to be some issues from treatment that will remain with me including nerve damage and scar tissue from the radiation treatments. They seem to be the culprits in the ongoing “aches and pains” experienced as a part of each day. As I often share, these are a very good alternative to having the visiting team return to “my dugout”! I will continue to work with the doctors to problem solve these issues and make each day one that counts in making a difference. I continue to read to find comfort and answers to the many questions that enter a person’s mind as you ride the roller coaster that each series of tests brings when dealing with those “aches and pains”. Most recently, I have found comfort and some good old fashioned “common sense” in Dave and Jan Dravecky’s book Do Not Lose Heart. Of course, it draws an analogy to baseball, so all the more meaningful to me.
As Dave shares, when playing baseball in the Minor Leagues, you had better learn to like busses, because whether you like them or not you are going to see plenty of them. If lucky in the minors, you might get a bus with air conditioning and reclining seats, if not, you may be riding with no shocks and vinyl seats that stick to you like Velcro in the summer heat. Been there and done that! Either way, the trips from ballpark to ballpark can get long. No matter how long the trip may be, they can always count on one thing: “the length of their journey never alters the reality of their destination”. Whether it takes two hours, four hours or ten hours (with a couple of flat tires along the way), he knows he will get there eventually.
In the same way, the Bible promises us that no matter how difficult our journey may become, “the length of their journey never alters the reality of their destination”. Obviously, the Bible is not talking about baseball (although St. Peter could have been a lefthander), instead, it is talking about the only league that ultimately counts - - the one where God is the owner, founder and commissioner, where the stadium is paved with transparent gold, and where all the players are known as saints. It’s talking about eternity.
“Sometimes we are tempted to think that life’s hardships and setbacks, pain and loss manage to make us think there is no such place as heaven and there is no end to the pain. When thoughts like that begin to bedevil us, we need a dose of minor league thinking. Every minor leaguer knows that, no matter how bumpy and uncomfortable and long the road trip to the next ball field might be, the length of his journey never alters the reality of his destination. The trip won’t last forever and the diamond will be waiting for him at the end.”
That’s minor league thinking that results in major league benefits. The point of the trip is to arrive at the destination. No one claims that the long hours spent in an “old rundown bus” will always be pleasant, but what is certain is that the ballpark awaits, freshly groomed and ready to welcome the “saints” who belong there.
Dave and Jan do a wonderful job of presenting their thoughts in helping me realize that no matter how “bumpy the ride” and even though I may not fully understand His plan, He is preparing me for a far better place than this. It’s time to implement some “minor league thinking” so that we may “Fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Wishing you all well and thanking you for being such a special part of my “Home Team”!
Link to: Reflections from the Home Team BLOG
Link to Vimeo: Reflections from the "Home Team"... Go the Distance
Link to: Tommy Emmanuel and "Angelina"