Pitching to Shoeless Joe Jackson
I have an obsession with Field Of Dreams, one which has only intensified over the decades since I first saw it. I think I've managed to hyper-analyze this movie from every possible angle and apply it to my life: father issues; finding your calling; pursuing dreams when the world around you says you're nuts; hearing a disembodied voice speaking words of challenge and encouragement to your soul; and growing corn (okay, this one maybe not so much). During the Story Conference in Chicago, I managed to pull out another set of life parallels with this film simply by knowing where the food trucks with shorter lines were located.
The first day of the conference was rich with meeting people in person whom I knew online, and trying to decide if our avatars matched up with what we looked like in flesh and blood. Individuals whose words have challenged and moved my soul were among the sea of hugs and handshakes I found myself in. Once the sessions for the morning were over, I found myself standing in a group as we chatted about what one of the presenters had just spoken on. We were still inside the auditorium and apparently taking up valuable space, because one of the volunteers came to shoo us out so they could set up for the afternoon.
After my group got outside, we saw the insane line of people that snaked around the parking lot as they all tried to hit up the food trucks outside our building. I mentioned I had seen some restaurants that morning as I walked to the conference, so we decided to walk a block up to see what was available. Once we had all purchased our respective meals and sat down on the concrete to eat, I took a moment to just soak in the absurdity of the situation I found myself in.
And then ... there was me. Eating a calzone, surrounded by writers. REAL writers.
There's a scene in Field of Dreams, where after Ray Kinsella has heard The Voice, plowed under his crop, and has waited patiently after constructing a baseball diamond in the middle of a cornfield, Shoeless Joe Jackson finally appears. After having a virtually wordless conversation with Shoeless Joe, Ray utters to himself one of my favorite lines from the movie:
"I am pitching to Shoeless Joe Jackson."
It was as if comparative to this moment, all the other crazy crap he had done was relatively sane. It was as if he was questioning who was he to be pitching to this legend and giant in his field. It was as if this was one of those watershed moments that he will remember with a smile on his lips every time the memory comes to his mind for the rest of his life.
Clearly, I didn't relate to this in the least.
Later that afternoon, when whomever was speaking about whatever topic they were going on about (my brain was still mush and trying to process it all), I heard a Voice speaking to me. Well, not so much "speaking" as "making me feel and understand something which had been vacant in me for so long that I wasn't even aware of its absence:"
"This is where you are meant to be. This is where I've wanted you to be all along.
"Everything. All the pain, heartbreak, joy and insanity in your life that you have struggled through, cried over, and been reborn into has brought you to this moment for a reason.
"Don't question if you have a right to be here. Don't you dare question if you have a right to be here.
"What and whom I have called worthy, don't you call unworthy. Especially yourself."
I am equals with Shoeless Joe Jackson. And apparently, everyone mentioned above ... which is both humbling, empowering, and nausea inducing. I also suppose this means I should stop looking down on myself and actually look up. When you engage with the people around you, you're supposed to look at them, not your own insecurities and doubts.
I may never have been drafted into a league, but I've managed to be included on a team. A tribe. And not as a tag-along or a mascot, but one of the ones intended to be included.
Guess it's time to see if I can "go the distance."
- Edgar Galdamez published the blogpost The Life of a Pastor: Service, Stress, Solitude, Sacrifice.
- George Bullard published the blogpost Are Millennials Different than Baby Boomers 40 Years Ago?.
- Dave Dunham published the blogpost A Review of “Loss of Sadness” by Allan Horwitz and Jerome Wakefield.
- Patricia Hunter published the blogpost Labor Day::thankful for the gift of work and the labor of love....
- Lee Sah Lim published the blogpost Bangkok IV: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market And MBK Center.
- Brad Hambrick published the blogpost Psalm 88 Sermon Follow Up: “Will Life Ever Get Better?”.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Are You Engaged With Teenagers Where They’re Growing Spiritually?.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 5 Roles Youth Workers Play In The Lives Of Teenagers.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 6 Tips for Creating Structure and Boundaries in Ministry.
- Kelly Balarie published the blogpost Bible Verses for Perfectionists: Finding Your True Worth.
- solomon david published the blogpost 6 Must to Have Skills That Every Magento Store Developer Should Consider.
- solomon david published the blogpost Cloud Gaming Fun With Microsoft’s DeLorean Available Soon.
- solomon david published the blogpost 6 Amazing Paid iPhone Applications that Available for Free Right Now.
- Matt Perman published the blogpost Tim Ferriss on the Importance of Being Unconventional.
- Barbie Swihart published the blogpost Journey To The High Places: On The Shores of Loneliness (Week 7).
- Adam Smith published the blogpost Labor Day, Your Marriage, and Your Family – Jackie Bledsoe.
- Judy Douglass published the blogpost How We Got Here: Live Alive Guest Post by Jordan Stroman.
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost 14 Practices Of Senior Pastors Who Grow Great Churches.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Teens Are Getting Pickier About The Brands They Display On Their Clothes.
- Bill Reichart published the blogpost Two Prayers That Will Inspire And Provoke The Soul.
- Martin KnoxGood bye, Faith Village. Thank you, Brad Russell, for what you have contributed to the work of the Kingdom.
- Greg Flagg published the blogpost Prayer for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost (Ordinary Time).
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Florida City Makes It Illegal to Wear Your Pants Too Low.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost MTV Bloodstained Hypocrisy of Hollywood’s Violence Profiteers.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Marine Just Issued An Epic Challenge To The Black Community And The Ferguson Rioters.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Teens Who Skimp On Sleep May Face Later Obesity Risk.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Study: Parental Incarceration May Be Worse Than Divorce.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Video Helps Gay Teen Disowned By Christian Parents Raise $90,000.
- Caitlin Wilson published the blogpost Sunday Refreshments | Do You Pick a Church Like You Pick A Restaurant?.
- Amy Lathrop published the blogpost Sunday Refreshments | Do You Pick a Church Like You Pick A Restaurant?.