Honoring Heros

It all started with this article: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseball/243041_mari01.html

For those of you who won't take the time to read it, I'll give you a synopsis. It is the account of Dan Wilson's last game as a Seattle Mariner. It was not just his last game as a Mariner but his last game as a Baseball Player. As of this morning, Dan Wilson is no longer a Professional Baseball Player. But that is not what inspired me to write this article. What inspired me was the way in which Dan Wilson was honored last night.

Baseball, in my oppinion, is the greatest sport in the world and this account is one of those reasons. What other sport would honor someone in this way? Dan had what seemed to be a season ending injury. He was in what everyone considered the last season of his career. Since 1992 he had been a fixture in Seattle. He even played on the immortalized 1995 team that saved Baseball in Seattle. He was consistantly one of the best catchers in the game...arguably the best pitch caller currently playing. What would football do with a player like this as he ends his career? They would invite his family to the field and give him a little ceremony at half time. What would basketball do? Probably something similar. But baseball...now baseball is an all together different sport. In baseball special accomidations were made. The Mariner's even let him come back, suit up and catch one final inning. Not only did they let him do that, they let him catch on the night is oldest team mate was pitching. They made provision for him to do what he as done one last time with people around him that he loved. As I read the account of Dan heading back out to the field for the last time to warm up his long time friend I couldn't help but tear up. This was a sacred moment for those two men, 34,000 fans, and a host of others who have followed this team.

As I sat thinking about this moment the thought occured to me: Why do we not have these kinds of moments in the church? Why are we so affraid of honoring people and making everyone else feel like lesser Christians? Not only was last night quite possibly Jamie Moyer's last game in a Mariner's uniform, but Ichiro became the sixth player in the history of Baseball to hit 200 base-hits in 5 consecutive seasons. Still I would wager to say that not one of the players, managers, or coaches in that building felt any less. In fact, I would wager that the opposite was happening. They were, like I was, inspired. Something that happens far to seldom in our world.

The real problem comes when we honor those who have position but have not garnered respect. People feel slighted when they see someone who has a position but not sacrificed. People get jealous when they see someone who is self serving gloat in the spot light. People feel inspired and want to do more when they see someone who is truely great do what they do one last time in a meaningful way.

Last night Dan Wilson not only showed us what a great Baseball player is, he showed us how to truely honor somone who has accomplished great things. It is just another reason why guys like this deserve to be honored, and why we in the church must be constantly looking for people like Dan to learn from.


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