I Caught the Highlights
Fall baseball is in full swing and after a couple of years away from baseball, David has returned to the diamond. This past Monday he earned the game ball. He doubled to the wall and drove in a run, pitched a couple of innings, and had a grand time.
I wish I could’ve been there to see it. Molly caught a few highlights on her iPhone, and because of the miracle that is the high quality camera that we can carry in our pockets, and the even greater miracle that short videos capturing these moments can be digitized and pinged from tower to tower and be transmitted from device to device in a matter of moments, I could watch what had been captured. What a time to be alive.
Last weekend I had the privilege of leading a spiritual formation retreat for seminarians, and the days since have been full. This week had a higher than average number of lunches and coffees, hallway conversations and office drop-ins. Truett welcomed Christopher J. H. Wright last week for the Parchman Lectures. I caught two of three.
Life is full. Tomorrow I’ll put the finishing touches on a curriculum assignment, and I’ll coach my fifth soccer game of the fall. I have other chores to tackle, too.
This fall has brought a different kind of tired. Last fall, it was exhaustion. This time through the calendar has a slightly different feel. Some factors I’ll write about later. In a recent edition of the newsletter I wrote about my own mishaps. But mostly, the tired that I feel is connected to doing good, seeing good things, and being part of good work. I keep going. Most of it is the kind of tired that comes with managing a household and raising kids, being a husband and a father—which is the most important work I do.
I don’t know if I’ve been putting in performances worthy of a game ball. Do they hand those out to adults?
Maybe we should. Maybe I need to carry around a bucket of baseballs, and when I see someone preach a great sermon, or extend care, or offer an excellent lesson, or give a brilliant answer, or tell a funny joke, or hold a door for a stranger, or keep their mouth shut at a committee meeting, or stick to an agenda rather than diverge off topic, or lower the tension in a divisive political conversation, or pick up a piece of trash, or speak an aptly chosen word, or chuckle at one of my jokes, or properly use a turn signal while executing a lane change, or craft a memorable acronym, or perfectly hit the high notes in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” or show up for their kids, or say a kind word to their spouse, I can pull out my Sharpie, write the date, mark it “MVP,” toss the ball over and say, “Here you go, Suzy, well done out there today. Put this one in your trophy case.”
And then go about my merry way.
Still reading Chernow’s Washington.
I continue reading David Foster Wallace’s encyclopedic novel Infinite Jest.
I finished a galley of Richard Foster’s forthcoming book Lessons in Humility and am still working my way through Jacques Ellul’s Humiliation of the Word. I’m also reading Andrew Root’s Faith Formation in a Secular Age.
Sights and Sounds
I’m listening to Frank Sinatra’s 1964 album September of My Years as I put together this brief edition.
On the blog: boredom can be okay and an appeal for newsletter subscribers. Don’t worry! I won’t try to bore you with the newsletter. Welcome to anyone new—and for those who have been with me for a while, thanks for reading!
Before I go, standard copy.
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That's the business.
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Be well this week. Bless others.
P.S. - The game ball.