Sunday, March 15, 2015

To risk it all

The integrity of the upright will guide them. – Proverbs 11:3 NKJV
If you’re a faithful reader of this blog, you know I love baseball. My family loves baseball. And I’m a diehard Pittsburgh Pirates fan.
I’m known to keep track of a Pirates game on my cell phone while sitting in the bleachers cheering on one of my grandchildren. All three who live in the area (next door, in fact) play ball. Our oldest grandson, Brent, and his younger brother, Deagen, both play baseball. Granddaughter Madison plays softball.
Baseball is the love of Brent’s life. He eats and breathes baseball even in the off-season, working on his swing and fielding techniques. He was the player taken off the field by ambulance when a violent collision with another player in the outfield resulted in a compound fracture of the upper bone in his left arm. There went All Star season that year. But he still sat in the dugout, arm in a sling after surgery at Children’s Hospital, keeping the scorebook.
Then the following spring he broke his little finger playing dodge ball in gym class. Now finger breaks these days aren’t too big of a deal, but this break occurred in the joint at the base of his finger, where it’s connected to the hand. He was swinging a bat and fielding balls within three weeks. He never missed a beat.
Like I said, he loves the game.
That’s why this year’s injury is so frustrating.
Actually it occurred last year when he dove for a fly ball in the outfield, jamming his shoulder upon impact with the ground. We all thought it was a jammed shoulder that would eventually heal on its own.
Only it didn’t.
The pain, which never completely went away, worsened when he began practice for tryouts for the high school JV team.
Now, Brent gives 101-percent and will ignore pain so he could play the game he loves.
But when the intense pain could no longer be ignored, a visit to the doctor was in order. An MRI revealed a bone break in the shoulder.
“Rest it for four weeks,” the doctor said, handing him an excuse for gym. If rest and physical therapy didn’t work, surgery was the next option.
Here he was in the middle of tryouts. With a broken shoulder. The first game in three weeks.
What to do? Keep playing hurt and continue to hide the injury from the coaches until after tryouts? Or tell the coaches he’d be out for at least four weeks, risking a chance to make the team?
He told the coaches.
“I could have waited until after tryouts and then handed them my doctor’s excuse,” he told me, “but I didn’t feel that was right.”
What integrity!
It made me think—Am I willing to risk it all to do the right thing?
I sure hope so. A young man at 15 set the bar for this grandma and reminded her there are things more important than fulfilling our dreams.
Oh, yes—Brent made the team.
So you know where this grandma will be come ball season.
Thank you, Father, for showing me integrity is not dead. Amen.
More tea: Read Psalm 1

1 comment:

  1. I got a wonderful surprise in Wednesday's mail - an autographed copy of Jerry B. Jenkins's latest book, "The Matheny Manifesto," written with Mike Matheny, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. Autographed to Brent. I sent Jerry the link to this blog. The autographed book was Jerry's response. Thank you, Jerry, for your kindness and thoughtfulness. You made our day!