I’m quite confident that everyone at some point in their life has experienced America’s favorite past time. I’m of course referring to the game of baseball.
Throughout the game, there are many different terms used to describe different aspects of play–single, double, triple, home run, strike out–or my personal favorite…the seventh inning stretch.
Among the players on the team, there is one that a crucial and integral role. That is the pitcher. They are responsible for throwing the ball to the opposing team during play while ultimately getting them to strike out. They do this by switching up their style of throw with the repertoire of pitches they have in their back pocket.
Among that repertoire of pitches…the curveball.
When looking at the dictionary, the definition of the curveball is:
Noun; a pitch thrown with a strong downward spin, causing the ball to drop suddenly and veer to the side as it approaches home plate.
Not only is it a pitch that baseball players dread, but one that us human beings can dread too. Life can throw the curveball at any given moment toward us, especially during the most unexpected moments.
Yesterday was one of those moments where life threw an unexpected curveball.
Sunday morning started out like normal–the alarm went off urging me to wake up, get dressed, and go for a morning run before church at 9:15am.
I arrived at church mentally preparing for the service with organizing my music for the service and sitting in the front pew waiting for the bell to ring signifying it was time for Vicar Angie to make announcements.
She walked to the front of the church and pointed out important upcoming dates in regards to the future of the church…and when I thought she was over, she mentioned one more thing…the curveball.
She announced that Pastor Straw, whom happens to be a very dear friend to many in this community, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer.
Side note: I DISLIKE cancer very much. And this is just another reason why I will continue to run until the cure is found.
You could hear the gasp from a few individuals in the church pews and then silence. It was one of those moments where the words that just came out of her mouth didn’t register and lingered there in the air.
My stomach sank and my mind was immediately drawn to thoughts of the worst. In my head, I started shuffling through some of my most favorite memories with Pastor Straw, which most of the time include singing because he has a beautiful tenor voice that commands whatever room he happens to be in with the echoes of lush melody.
Knowing how this curveball is affecting not only me, but the countless others Pastor Straw has touched is absolutely heartbreaking. I can’t even imagine the thoughts and emotions his family is going through. All of my love, thoughts, and prayers will be with them and I know that they would all appreciate good thoughts, vibes, and prayers if you have the chance.
So, what is the point with me writing all this?
Never take anything for granted.
Squeeze the people around you in life with hugs full of love.
Tell the people that you appreciate most in life how much they mean to you. Do it now. This very moment right after you finish reading this sentence.
Life will continue to happen.
Life will continue to move faster and faster without slowing down.
And it will throw us strong, downward spinning curveballs when we least expect it.
But…it all comes down to how we react to the pitch.
Do we embrace fear, strike out, and sit in the dug out on the bench?
Or do we choose hope to crush the ball and hit it out of the park?
The choice is yours.
Sprinkle sunshine always,