This Spring was the first year our oldest has played baseball. I won’t lie, he didn’t even get on plate until the final game of the season. Once, he ran for the ball but passed through a patch of pricklies on the way. Having a seat in far left field, he began to pick the tiny cacti from his clothes – the ball sitting in the grass not 5 feet away – as the other team’s players continued around the bases. You should’ve felt the rage from the stands: “WHAT IS HE DOING?!“… but he wasn’t concerned. After the game – not oblivious but totally unconcerned with the mishap – he spread encouragement among all of the players, joyfully congratulating the other team, & doting compliments on all of his teammates. He wasn’t concerned that they’d lost, & honestly I wasn’t too concerned either – he played his best & enjoyed it, & that was a “win” in and of itself.
Deep down in my gut I feel we all should seriously want to see EVERYONE win. If we are all God’s images – no matter how tainted or broken – it at least means that we are a reflection of who He is: our passions, our gifts, our callings – even when misdirected – are important. If you are important to God – important enough for God-with-skin-On to lay down His LIFE for – then you’re important to me, & if you’re important to me, what is important to you is important to me.
Can you imagine a world where no one rejoices in another’s failure, loss, or rejection? Even while enjoying sports, cheering for our team, we could be offering a shout-out the competition whenever they do something notable.
Friend & fellow blogger ANGIE SMITH MILLER told this story;
“When I was in junior high school, I sat near a classmate’s father at a basketball game in which his youngest son was playing. When our team scored, he stood up, lifted his arms over his head, and cheered. A few minutes later when the other team scored, he did the same thing. Mr. Flynn saw my quizzical look and said, “I’m for everybody!” I have never forgotten that.“
In 1995 my college house-mates in the Elliot St. house hosted a Poetry Slam by that genre’s founder, Marc Kelly Smith. I’ll never forget his passionate delivery of “Pull the next one Up”, as he climbed a chair in the middle of our living room – his hand reaching down to me. Watch this brilliant delivery…
May I consistently be someone who – whenever I take a step forward & upward – reaches down, offers a hand, & helps the next one up.
Is it too much to ask for everyone to win?
So be it. Yes.