Clear the Mechanism
I married a baseball enthusiast and have seen many, many baseball movies including Field of Dreams (our first date), Bang the Drum Slowly (painful to watch), Bull Durham, and For the Love of the Game (my personal favorite).
In the movie, For the Love of the Game, Kevin Costner is pitching what will be his last game in his professional baseball career. As the game and movie evolve, we watch Costner process his past, in the context of his present, as he contemplates his future. In the scenes in which Costner is pitching, we seek him extricate the external noise of the crowd, the owner, and even his own voice using a phrase: Clear the Mechanism.
A few weeks ago, I showed my students the Death Crawl scene from Facing the Giants. While not a baseball movie, it does use sports as a backdrop for an important life lesson. In this scene, the coach asks for just two things: wear a blindfold and give it your “very best.” Listening to the coach’s voice, the player carriers another player on his back 100 yards, when previously he had only gone 20.
That night I sat at what some Spanish speaking cultures call El Santisimo. God encouraged me that night to Engage a Blindfold as my own mechanism for extricating the external noise from my life so that I might hear Him. This has been challenging of late. A few months ago, I decided to leave a profession I love. This week I completed my final tasks. And my future, that I thought was set with a new role, didn’t materialize as I thought it would. This week, similar to Costner’s role, I have processed my past, in the context of my present, as I contemplate my future.
Marathon training starts in earnest in just a few weeks and as a reminder I am using the run to raise money for a church in Quito, Ecuador. But I have a hunch I am on a much more significant journey, maybe on the way to my own perfect game or World Series equivalent. I only hope it doesn’t get to the point of needing Jason Haywood’s rain delay speech. But if it does, I hope I have learned to clear my own mechanism so I can hear it.
Click on the link below if you are feeling called to contribute to the church in Quito. However, if you wanted to save your pennies to watch the Cubs and Cardinals play in London next year, I couldn’t fault you for that. Mike and I might just be doing the same!