A Group of People

Seeds, Spit, and Dusty Chalk Trails

In baseball, childhood, little league, winning on March 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm

By Matthew Fier

I love March. I love the smell of freshly cut grass, dusty trails of chalk, and oiled mitts. I love the sounds of clinging bats, parents cheering their kids despite the latest strike out (in my case, I once went a whole season without an RBI), and the first National Anthem of the season. Yes, I love baseball.

Tonight I drove to the local little league park long after the sunset and the players left from their practice. The lights from the basketball court shined just bright enough for me to see past the pitchers mound, and I leaned up against the fence like I did nearly 10 years ago – the last time I played little league.

Winning was important. So was losing. More importantly was the friendships I was making, getting those free food cards after playing well, and getting ice cream with my parents. It’s funny how life somehow manages to manipulate you into thinking other things are important.

I sat in the stands, thinking that I’m much closer to seeing my own kids play ball then I ever will be to being a kid again. That is a terrifying thought. The past week I made one of the biggest choices of my life. If you read my blog, you know I’m moving away from home…possible for good. No longer can I say that home is in Oregon. Home is now in California. Home for the holidays has new impact.

When you’re young, winning on the scoreboard seems so much more important than it really is. Little did I know, it would all end up the same. God wanted me at Biola. No matter how many hits I didn’t rack up in Little League, how many sacks I piled up during football, and how many concussions and broken bones I would gather being reckless…my athletic career was destined to end. It happens.

Charlie Sheen seems to think he knows what winning is. I laugh, with the rest of the world, but perhaps more out of pity than humor. Winning is sitting in the backyard with my parents, eating burgers and talking about my first, major, junior high crush (whom is now engaged). Winning is staying up too late with my friends, laughing until we cried, and making 7/11 runs at times that no human being should be functioning. Winning…is finding the happiness in the things God has created us to be happy in.

Adults always said to cherish those moments, because soon enough I’d be punching clocks and wishing for more vacation days. I’m nearly halfway through college and I think I’m starting to get it. This summer, as I said before, I’ll have a chance to perhaps help young men understand that concept.

Being away from home is going to be extremely hard. My friends – my lifeline outside of Christ – my family, and everything I love is 1000 miles away. Yet, I know that the path God has set before me is a perfect one. I’m excited to drive to a Little League game this season, and watch the kids smile, so I can smile with them.

Sometime this summer, after I clock out of my suit and tie, even after I head off to and leave football practice, I’ll find myself sitting at the good ol’ baseball field again. I’ll watch the sun set over the hills, pop a few sunflower seeds into my mouth, and pretend that I’m 10 again.

To see more about what Matt is up to, please visit his blog —> here.

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