Baseball and Heaven

The batter swings and hits a long ball out of the park! The stands erupt in cheers!  He rounds the bases and arrives home, waving his cap to the cheering crowds. “Thank God!  I’ve made a home run!”, he says to himself.

The elation lasts but a moment. “You’re out!” the umpire cries. The player’s face contorts with anger. The crowd begins to boo. The instant replay shows what happened. He forgot to touch second base. It’s an automatic “out”.

Suddenly, the anger of the crowd focuses on the player.  “Stupid fool!”

As an old man approached his last minutes on earth, he thought of that player, Baseball and Heaven.

“I did realize that the Prophets of the Old Testament predicted the Tribe, Family, and place of Jesus’ birth. I saw that dozens of specific prophecies became true in the person of Jesus Christ. I became a Christian and told people, ‘I’ve been born again!'”

“I didn’t pay attention to the rules. I didn’t take it seriously when Jesus said ‘If you do not eat My Body and drink My Blood you do not have life in you.’

“I thought that was only symbolic.  I thought that  ‘Verily, verily I say unto you thou art Peter and on this rock I build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.’ was merely symbolic, too.

“I wanted the game to be what I thought it should be. Mostly, I wanted to do what I wanted while telling the other players, even shouting to the audience, ‘I am born again!

“Now, I am getting closer to the umpire. His thumb is raised. I see him forming the word ‘Out!’  I feel a trap door opening beneath me.  I wish I’d touched all the bases!  I wish I’d been a Catholic!” was the last thing he thought.