Church, Quitting and Baseball

Closing the door to my truck, I scan the grounds. Everything is still and quiet. I am late, and everyone else is inside. Walking towards the building, everything feels strangely eerie. It feels like I’m walking into a war zone. I open the door, and strange faces greet me. No smile. No warm handshake. I round the corner to find the warmth of familiarity shattered. My usual row is empty and cold. I find an empty seat and my eyes look across the room. Few familiar faces smile back at me. The songs seem forced and hollow. The message seems empty, airy, and beyond me. But was I really listening? Welcome home. Welcome to church. Where unity is stranger.

The American Way. We hear a lot about this great country of America and our character. The protestant work ethic has often defined America. It’s the land of opportunity. Roll up your sleeves, dirty your palms, and you will prosper. But is that still the attitude of America? An NBC special on Jesse Ventura tonight showed a period of Ventura’s announcer days when he claimed that cheating was the American way. I think that pessimistic slide is on the right track. I’d like to claim that quitting is now the American way. When the going gets tough, the American goes walking. When things get hard, we quit. We throw our hands up in the air and call it quits. We don’t want to work anymore. We don’t want to dirty the brow. Divorce, jobs, friendships. It’s everywhere. What a great country.

Well, I can’t be all negative today. Some friends and I played some ball today. Ah, the great American past time. It’s pretty obvious it’s not my past time. Yet still, there’s nothing like feeling a bat in your hands as it connects with the ball, and you watch the ball sail through the air. It flies higher and higher, arcs beautifully, and falls just beyond the infield: My best hit of the day. Kevin D. Hendricks, baseball legend.

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