Stealing Home

My ten-year-old son, Matthew, slid into third base. The ball arched high over the head of the third-baseman. Matthew scrambled to his feet and took off for home, legs and arms pumping hard. In one smooth move, he dropped into another slide and planted his foot on home plate right before the ball thumped into the catcher’s mitt. The umpire sliced his arms through the dust cloud. “Safe!”

With a giant grin, Matthew ran to his cheering teammates. His coach scooped him up, slung him over his shoulder, and whirled him in a circle. Four times at bat, and he’d scored three times.

Yet he never swung the bat.

This age division is the first where the boys do the pitching. Their skills are – shall we say – erratic. We see lots of walks and stolen bases, and very few strike-outs or hits.

Matthew’s ability to score without swinging seems funny because it violates all we know about success. Outside of Disney movies, dreams do not magically come true.

One of the reasons I wrote a book is because my grandmother never did. She had a gift with language, a deep knowledge of history, and longed to write a book. She turned 94 last week. She has Alzheimer’s. Her story will never come to be.

Unless we are ten-year-old boys, we will never score without swinging. However, we can look to how Matthew fulfilled his dream and stole home. First, he had the wisdom to listen to his coach and analyze the situation. Next, he had the courage to take a chance and risk failure in the hope of succeeding. Then he ran at full speed, ignored the conflicting screams of onlookers, and pressed on to the goal.

Do you have a dream? With wisdom, courage, hard work, and persistence, it may come to pass. And if it doesn’t? In the words of Mother Teresa, “God doesn’t require us to succeed; He only requires that you try.”