At a fund-raising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the school's students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by any who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: "Everything God does is done with perfection. Yet, my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is God's plan reflected in my son?"
The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. "I believe that when a child like Shay enters the world, an opportunity to realize the Divine Plan presents itself. And it comes in the way people treat that child." Then, he told the following story:
Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they will let me play?" Shay's father knew that most boys would not want him on their team. But the father understood that if his son were allowed to play it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging.
Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We are loosing by six runs, and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning."
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. At the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the outfield. Although no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base.
Shay was scheduled to be the next at-bat. Would the team actually let Shay bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman.
Everyone started yelling, "Shay, run to first. Run to first." Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled "Run to second, run to second!" By the time Shay was rounding first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman for a tag. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions had been, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman's head. Shay ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home.
As Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third!"
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, "Shay! Run home!"
Shay ran home, stepped on home plate and was cheered as the hero, for hitting a "grand slam" and winning the game for his team.
"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face,"the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of the Divine Plan into this world."
And now, a footnote to the story. We all send thousands of jokes through e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages regarding life choices, people think twice about sharing. The crude, vulgar, and sometimes the obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of decency is too often suppressed in school and the workplace. If you are thinking about forwarding this message, you are probably thinking about which people on your address list aren't the "appropriate" ones to receive this type of message. The person who wrote this believes that we can all make a difference. We all have thousands of opportunities a day to help realize God's plan. So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:
Do we pass along an opportunity or leave the world a colder place?
Reason, Season, Lifetime?
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON. . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.
When people come into your life for a SEASON it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
Thank you for being a part of my life!
1. The best way to get even is to forget...
2. Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death...
3. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts...
4. Some folks wear their halos much too tight...
5. Some marriages are made in heaven, but they ALL have to be maintained on earth...
6. Unless you can create the WHOLE universe in 5 days, then perhaps giving "advice" to God, isn't such a good idea!
7. Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up...
8. Standing in the middle of the road is dangerous. You will get knocked down by the traffic from both ways.
9. Words are windows to the heart.
10. A skeptic is a person who when he sees the handwriting on the wall, claims it's a forgery.
11. It isn't difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill just add a little dirt.
12. A successful marriage isn't finding the right person-it's being the right person.
13. The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.
14. Too many people offer God prayers, with claw marks all over them.
15. The tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can hold it.
16. To forgive is to set the prisoner free, and then discover the prisoner was you.
17. You have to wonder about humans, they think God is dead and Elvis is alive!
18. It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
19. You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks its neck out...
20. If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher.
You are richer today if you have laughed, given, and forgiven.
Some new billboards are getting attention in Cleveland. Here's a list of all variations of the "God Speaks" billboards. The billboards are a simple black background with white text. No fine print or sponsoring organization is included.
Let's meet at my house Sunday before the game. -God
C'mon over and bring the kids. -God
What part of "Thou Shalt Not..." didn't you understand? -God
We need to talk. -God
Keep using my name in vain, I'll make rush hour longer. -God
Loved the wedding, invite me to the marriage. -God
That "Love Thy Neighbor" thing... I meant it. -God
I love you and you and you and you and... -God
Will the road you're on get you to my place? -God
Follow me. -God
Big bang theory, you've got to be kidding. -God
My way is the highway. -God
Need directions? -God
You think it's hot here? -God
Have you read my #1 best seller? There will be a test. -God
Do you have any idea where you're going? -God
(And my personal favorite...)
Don't make me come down there. -God