The past few nights were different.
My beloved Mets suffered a couple of horrible losses. One could say that I should be used to it by now. What was unfamiliar was how I found myself taking a strange and unusual approach after the final out.
There was no anger, no heartbreak, and no running to the kitchen for comfort.
Instead, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I was grateful for a game to watch, to be alive and in a blessed position to get lost in it for a few hours, and to appreciate the well-spent evening- even if heartbreaking.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across our land, the baseball season feels like a ticking time bomb ready to explode. We simply do not know when the next pitch will be the last.
In watching these games, what doesn’t escape me are the hundreds of thousands who died from the pandemic thus far, the millions unemployed, the incredible amount of trauma we are all facing, the growing number of hungry, abused, and lonely, and the tears and cries for justice and peace that echo in our divided streets.
It is hard to get angry over a ballgame when our world is so wounded and hurting.
In this peculiar season and year, baseball again provides us two life lessons: daily appreciation and the invitation to take our turn at bat.
There is simply no promise of a game tomorrow or another day to live.
We are invited to cherish every inning and hour alike, appreciating the gift before us.
We must also take our swings.
We are called to use our talents to answer prayers. The fake crowd noise will not go wild; instead we will feel a deep sense of purpose as we serve with love.
There will, God-willing, be a day when I will see a game from the stands, hug my family, and see a healing and better world. I might even find myself throwing the remote again after a blown save.
Until then, I will keep trying to serve, to authentically love, and to be grateful for a treasured game and a tremendously blessed life.