Hello to whoever reads this little spot in bloggersville! It's been a few days of work and play and now it's time to get this shindig back on the road.
October. Halloween looms, and although I don't celebrate it, I'm always fascinated by the costumes on sale at your local store. From knights to ghouls, the country is eager to be someone else for a day. The Israelites used to want to be someone else too. In fact, they wanted a new identity so badly that they would stop at nothing to demand a new king in hopes that somehow they could create their own image and identity. Why is that important? In Politics some want to be be identified by their civil rights, in grade school some want to be likened to their heroes, at work some want to be identified by their position. In the strident attempt to gain individualism we've become like everyone else. If you take the mask off you realize you were never your own (Heidelberg Cat. #1), but retain God's image. The irony is that in God's image each one is unique, having their own finger prints, personality, looks, stature--no one is alike. We were already individuals before we tried to be another individual!
But I digress because how could I live in the month of October if I didn't revel in baseball. The Major League Playoffs are on. Balls, bats and testosterone glaze the stadium with euphoric energy. I wear Dodger blue but I was in Columbus Ohio last weekend and I knew full well that Ohio was in the Playoffs. The Cleveland Indians couldn't have a more excited fan base if they tried. There's so much hot air blown around town about Ohio's team, I thought I might lift right off the ground like a hot air balloon. It's exciting. I love baseball. Sixty feet away a tiny ball springs out of a talented hand at 94 miles an hour. The pitcher, forced to throw downward from atop a small hill at a strike zone no bigger than a small box, beads with sweat. Another man must place a narrow bat in the right place at the right time because only 1/2 second later that same ball will cross the plate. When and if a connection is made the ball pops toward the 2nd baseman at roughly the same pace or faster and is mostly likely spinning from the contact. It bounces off the diamond dirt and the talented player picks it off the ground as if it were sailing at 10 miles an hour not 100. Meanwhile a runner is barrelling at full tilt towards first-base, face strewn with effort , built with one purpose...make it to 1st base before the ball does. A hard throw is made and slaps into the first baseman's glove like a shot in the dark and the runner's cleat bounces off the base a click after the ball reaches the defender...a light speed moment a Referee must see clearly, as if a photo had been taken and the still frame given to him. With an enviable flare laced with passion and adrenaline that only those who're on the field can understand, the Ump calls "OUT!" , striking his fist in front of his body as if life itself lept from his fists. And all this in less than 10 seconds. Man I love this sport. I'm elated that a group of men could achieve such potent skill. When I was young, I used to believe I possessed such prowess. When I was young, my heals clicked the dirt and my toes possessed the base and I believed myself that I was playoff material. But look at me! Do you see the spindly legged bad-backed hero first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers? My God Imaged fingerprints contain something other than professional baseball.
Back to the play...the runner, wick'd with sweat, pleads his case, completely sure he'd reached first base in time...the audience boos, assured that the ump was wrong and they and their runner are right... innately knowing that, like myself as a little boy, they the fans possess skills that those on the field do not. Many in the crowd clamor in heat as if God himself would do the very same thing...
or are they once again trying to be in someone else's image?
Live a little...enjoy the game...then leave with the same fingerprints you had before the game began. God's image goes with you.