Three Strikes and You’re Still IN!

Dear Reader:

Sometimes we get so caught up in football…particularly when it extends over into the next year (literally) that  basketball season is over in a blink and suddenly it’s “Take me out to the Ball Game” time!

I have to admit that after football, baseball is my favorite sport. I think it all goes back to being a  mother with two sons on the same team one season (Walsh as a 10-year-old player and Tommy as their 5-year-old ball boy and mascot- Tommy is on the front row extreme left and Walsh is on the second row…second to the right.) This was the miraculous year when their team won the whole “enchilada” in their age division in the lowcountry!

*Confidentially I liked baseball because I could go settle in the bleachers for their practices…stick my white winter legs out in the sun on another bleacher, roll up my sleeves, and get a jump on a summer tan. (How little did we know?) Half the time I would find myself nodding off…after teaching school all day …sitting on the bleachers in the warm early spring afternoons made my eyes start fluttering a few minutes after I sat down.

But that particular year I have to admit I had mixed feelings (like most of the team parents watching if they were really truthful) about how far we really wanted the season to go. From the time sports started in elementary school…summer vacation time got smaller and smaller until by high school it had disappeared. Baseball went into football and good-bye summer.

However the joy that night as the team won the grand prize for their division actually did make up for a vacation…watching both Walsh and Tommy getting their trophies with wonderful coaches who were the best male mentors a mother could hope for…they made the season even more special.

Walsh would go on to love baseball and play it in high school…Tommy decided he liked another type of ball that came with a golf club….both boys excelled in their different sports passions.

*You know me by now…I am the connector…give me a name and I can find some way to connect it to something else…it is my only somewhat dubious ‘gift.’ Golf reminded me of Bob “Goff” who truly simplifies life with funny and insightful thoughts and one of them dealt abstractly with baseball. Ping! This is it:

Failure is just part of the process of life, and it’s not just okay; it’s better than okay. God doesn’t want failure to shut us down. God didn’t make it a three-strikes-and-you’re-out sort of thing. It’s more about how God helps us dust ourselves off so we can swing for the fences again. And all of this without keeping a meticulous record of our screw-ups.”

How true! Don’t we humans take the fun out of sports games too often with young children… by getting caught up in our man-made “rules” and meticulous record-keeping? Aren’t we glad God doesn’t do the same to us as we learn more about this game called life with experience after experience?

We don’t have to worry about a ‘Three strikes and you’re out!”situation.  (I don’t know about you but I would be in some serious trouble right now…if that was the case.)

Not only are we not out after striking out three times…God doesn’t even “keep a meticulous record of our screw-ups.” (Not being irreverent  but “Thank God for that!“)

So until tomorrow….As we round the first, second, and third bases of “dangers, toils, and snares” throughout our lives we know we have God waving us in when it time to go home…because “Grace will lead us home.” 

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh (Thanks Jo for the reminder this morning that I forgot to add this…how could I have a favorite day if I forgot to add Winnie to it…you are what friends are for…reminders to keep the day a favorite!)

*As I walked by one of my tables today I noticed just how pretty it was with a new beautiful bowl set Lee and Vikki gave me at Christmas and an original oil painting of my bottle tree (that Joan did from a photo taken from an earlier blog post.) You are so talented my friend Joan…and I love, love, love the painting!

 

 

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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6 Responses to Three Strikes and You’re Still IN!

  1. bcparkison says:

    And now parents think they need to start the little ones on sports at 4 or 5 years old. To much of a good thing.

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      If we would just let it be child’s play…it would be okay…but adults have a way of messing that up with adding competition too early…thus taking the freedom of just plain fun away.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jo Dufford says:

    I really loved this thought about no 3 strikes and you’re out with God. Now isn’t that a wonderful analogy or connection to make. I really enjoy sports, and now every time that ump raises his thumb and says, “You’re out!”, I will smile and think, “No way, he’s/she’s safe.” I missed seeing Pooh today, (you know he and his friends are my favorite characters), but I know every day we rise, it is indeed a favorite day because there is a clean sheet to write on and many strikes and hits before we close out the game today Aren’t we lucky to know Who is in charge of our game?

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      I m so glad God is ‘umpiring’ my life and helping me get around the bases…especially cluing me in when it is time to slide in home….knowing that we will be “safe” no matter what. Thanks for the reminder that poor Winnie and his favorite day got left out….I just got Winnie back in so here comes our favorite day…today!

      Like

  3. Gin-g Edwards says:

    Every time I drive by Parks Field I reminisce about all the fun times spent there through all the phases of our boys playing…great fun but I truly don’t know how we had time…but we did and what wonderful memories…

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Gin-g…I keep thinking the same thing…there weren’t enough hours in the day to be as many places as we were running every day dropping off and picking up kids…thank goodness for the family/close friend saints who helped make it work…some way some how.

      Like

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