by Ken Rolheiser
Take me out to the ball game

See that fella over there? He’s 20 years old. In 10 years, he’s got a chance to be a star. Now that fella over there, he’s 20 years old, too. In 10 years he’s got a chance to be 30.
Casey Stengal

Stengal wasn’t talking about Jay’s Troy Tulowitski. On August 28 in what could have been the turning point of the game Tulowitski went to the mound and talked to the pitcher, and the catcher joined them. The Jays went on to win the game. Tulowitski did the same thing on August 29. Jays won again.

The maxim that great players make everyone around them better transcends all sports, and it is true in life’s game as well. That old song “Take me out to the ball game” can also be applied to the game of life.

“Take me out to the ball game
Take me out with the crowd”

It is so easy to follow the crowd, to “buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks” and to root for the home team. Makes you want to never come back.

We all get three strikes in the game. Actually the Lord gives us more chances – like seventy seven times seven chances. Wow! That increases our chances for the “fortune and fame” the song talks about.

Now if you want to be the star in your life, consider the above metaphor.

Sunday Church is like a ball game, without the peanuts. And when did you last have a cracker jack, the one with the little prize inside?

But Church is a treat. It is more inspiring than Troy Tulowitski. It gets you away from the hold the world has on you, brings you back to peace and brings back the healthy psyche of the soul.

Now what would Casey Stengal say about the average church-goer on Sunday morning? In ten years, how much will his or her life have improved? If we live our lives with the intensity of a Jason Grilli – Jays relief pitcher with the last 12 innings scoreless; with three walks and 14 strike-outs (as of August 28, 2016)?

Well, we could be more than just ten years older in ten years from now. And some of us may have left the game by then.

The song continues:
“All I need is just one chance
I could hit a home run
There isn't anyone else like me
Maybe I'll go down in history”

And that is so true! There is no one else like you and like me through all of history. Talk about the uniqueness of a snow flake. You bet we can be stars at That Old Ball Game.

Jesus said to St Peter, “If you build it, they will come.”

(456 words)