Bottom of the 9th, #60 – The Dash (–)


Bottom of the 9th - The Dash (–)

The Dash (–)

By Tom Walters

     There will be an empty saddle memorial at the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo this weekend.  Allen Crowner will be remembered for his dash. Allen was a loving husband, a dedicated father, a cherished son and a child of God.  His saddle and his horse will be led around the arena when we remember him and his life.  Our hearts will pain for his widow and his young sons. The dash I refer to fills obituaries, grave stones, and history books, and represents the time between our birth and going to be with our Father in heaven.  The dash is our life.  For Allen, his dash was a sprint, his life cut short in an accident at work last summer.  I remember Allen's dash was a good ride, cowboy.

You see we never know how long the dash will be. The dash for some people represents a middle distance event, for others, a marathon.  My dad was one of those guys who ran a marathon, he was diagnosed with lymphoma at the age of 80, almost four years before his passing.  Dad spent those four years "studying for finals."  That was Dad's sense of humor but it speaks to the way we play the game, it speaks to game day, it speaks to practice, it speaks to living our lives for God.

Another marathoner went to be with God recently.  Maya Angelou was a teacher, a human rights advocate, a poet and author.  What I remember most about Maya Angelou is her dash was filled with love.  One of my favorite passages from Maya even has a loose baseball reference.

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."                                              Maya Angelou

Therefore encourage one another and build each other. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Maya's words parallel Jesus words to love our neighbor as ourself.  In baseball we talk about new life or another chance when we foul off a ball that falls to the diamond.  We play extra innings, we talk about giving our all for our team, following our coach, sacrificing, playing for one another.  Every baseball game has a first pitch and a last out, it's the linescore or the dash between, that matters and is as varied as life itself!

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

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