Is this what a baseball looks like – the stuffing knocked out of it – after the slugger gets ahold of an opposing team’s fastball left hanging over the center of the plate?
Or, more likely, is this a baseball that a dog got ahold of, or a lawnmower chewed up as a result of it being fouled off into the deep sandlot weeds where it lay, hidden, forgotten by the father and son, or father and daughter, who’d called it a day?
Is there an evening, many evenings in fact, weeks-upon-weeks of evenings even, when fielding grounders with the kids is on the busy dad’s calendar?
Is there a major leaguer in the game today who cannot recall those earliest memories when his dad took time – made time – to underhand a baseball softly tossed, to laugh as the toddler gave chase, to patiently await the return throw of the slow roller that had gotten by the little guy yet again?
Probably, but probably not the majority.
And it’s not about making the majors either.
It’s about majoring on that which matters.
As Rabbi Jason Miller said of Mitch Albom’s book, “The Time Keeper,” time is not just “on our wrists and computer screens, on our cell phones and on the walls of our home.”
Time is ‘on’ fathers.
From the first pitch to the last at bat, the game of life is best learned from a father who steps up to the plate and takes the time to prepare his children for adulthood.
Those nine innings comprise the time he spends in developing their character – by spending time and making memories that will live on and, perhaps, into the next generation.
The baseball of life is hanging like a fastball over the plate, just begging to be hit.
Knock the stuffing out of it.