So since baseball is still in full swing, and since yes I’m still coaching and it’s July! And since I’m sentimental about my oldest daughter going off to college. I thought I’d offer one more analogy from American’s favorite pastime. A lot of life lessons can be learned from baseball. Baseball teaches important morals such as, “don’t ever give up”, “sometime we have to rely on our teammates”, and learning that “failure doesn’t have to define you”. And even life itself can be likened to rounding the bases on a baseball diamond.
The early years of our lives are a lot like the path from home plate to first base. It’s when we are the closest to home. In those early years we are taught and instructed and have base coaches in the form of parents and loved once close by to provide direction. Early in life we rely on their instruction and help to get us started with the values and beliefs to prepare us for the rest of life.
The young adult time of life is a lot like the trip from first to second base. We are a lot on our own, and it’s often a time when we take risks. But if we aren’t careful, we can get picked off. And many do. And when we are on second base we are the farthest from home. One Hundred and twenty feet and 6 inches from home plate. It’s a long way, and we are on our own. This is the college years, or life in our 20s. The values of home seem so far from there.
But if we are wise and with a little help, we move toward third base. This is midlife, we are feeling more confident. Home gets closer. We have learned a lot and we have hopefully found our purpose and a sense of hope. We dream of making this life count, and the desire to make it count grows in us. We want our lives to show up on the scoreboard. So we seek to mentor, teach, invest in others so that what we’ve learned can help others on the path.
TS Eliot once wrote, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” That’s the path from third to home. This is a journey to a familiar place. We find that we are getting closer to the place where we began. A place where the values that got us started now bring us home. Those final years of life are preparing us for home. Where God is. Where Jesus is. From where our faithful love ones are standing to cheer us on (Hebrews 12:1).
“Jesus you told us that you are life’s Beginning and End. You are the Alpha and the Omega. You’re the same yesterday, today, and forever. Assure us today with the truth that, from home....down every path... and back home again, You are there. Amen.”