Friday, July 24, 2009

How Grandpa lost his power...

Have you ever given any thought as to who really controls the world? There are many theories. Some believe that behind every great man is a strong woman. Others believe that man controls his own destiny. Still others think that men are born for a time and a reason. I'm here to tell you that all of these theories are dead wrong. The most powerful force in the universe is...grandchildren.

This summer of 2009 has been a real education for this old man. Recently, I found a few moments of time to contemplate my life and my surroundings. Here is what I discovered during this period of enlightenment.

First, grandchildren can make grandpa's do the most amazing things. I cite as example the following... When was the last time you took your grand-daughter to the local science museum, and found yourself playing the part of fool? Imagine, grown men (with gray hair) climbing in and out of exhibits, crawling over giant blocks, or dressing up in funny costumes just to see a toddler laugh!
Or how about squeezing yourself into the smallest tiny train you can find (not once or twice, but everytime you find a too-small train to ride!), just to ride around in circles for a few fleeting moments...all because the wee one refuses to ride by herself.

Or how about walking around in circles...leading a pony named Sadie who just happens to be carrying your grand-daughter on its back. Do you have any idea what ponies do as they are walking around in circles?? Let's just say a person should'nt wear nice shoes!
Talk about real about facing a hoard of man-eating goats? We had every intention of feeding them some goat food, but soon realized they had an appetite for shirts, shorts, and anything loose! Okay...I know what your saying. You may have risked life and limb just to please these mighty munchkins...but all it cost you was a few dollars for admission, and all your dignity and pride. Well, consider that these same pint-sized manipulators also figured out a way for grandpa to put a swimming pool up in his backyard!
Swimming pool...$140
Cost to fill the pool...$100
Watching kids and grandkids having a wonderful time...Priceless!

The most powerful force on the face of this earth?? The love of a grandchild for a grandparent. Trust me, love like that can and will make you do the most amazing things! :-)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Take me out to the ballgame...

We were in Cleveland over the July 4th holiday, and just happened to find the time and money to catch an Indians game with my son and son-in-law. While the Tribe may be having a less than spectacular season this year, we did see a pretty good game on this particular occasion. The Indians managed to beat Oakland 5-2.

I thouroughly enjoy baseball. When I was a kid growing up in New Haven, you would find my ballglove on the handlebar of my bicycle. Living in a good sized housing addition, it was usually pretty easy to find enough guys (and sometimes a girl or two) to throw together a pick-up game. The elementary school was only a block away, and there were a couple ballfields available.

As I was watching the game Saturday night, I noticed that one of the Indians best players failed to get a hit the entire game, while a new rookie, recently brought up from the farm team had a couple hits and did really well. As you can imagine, it got me thinking. Statistically, baseball players are not normally consistant in their play. By that I mean even the best players don't do that well at the plate. For example, one of the greatest ball players of all time, Ty Cobb, had a lifetime batting average of .367. Consider that the active leader, Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies, is 24th on this list entering the 2007 season at .334. Tony Gwynn, who is probably the best hitter of his generation, was a lifetime .338 hitter. For Ty Cobb, this translates to only 367 hits out of every 1,000 times at bat. That means he failed to hit the ball nearly 2 out of every three times at bat, and he is considered one of the greatest of all time.

When it comes right down to it, isn't life a lot like a baseball game? We have opportunities, we get chances to make great plays, or sometimes, we just sit in the dugout and watch. And when we do get in the game, chances are we will fail, or at least mess things up pretty good more often than not. And so, statistically speaking, we are pretty much failures in life.

Ah, but there is some good news. God is on our team, and as our coach, he see potential in us. He allows us to make our mistakes, because mistakes help us grow into better people. He doesn't criticize or complain, he helps us find our faults and find ways to improve our abilities for the next game. He leads, guides, and directs not only on the field but off as well.

I may make lots and lots of mistakes...I may even fail to contribute significantly to my game of life. But I know that no matter how bad my batting average is, God still wants me on his team. :-)