There's something about this word that evokes emotion out of a man (or woman. I'm not sexist). We cherish the idea of freedom in this country. Freedom of press. Freedom of speech. Freedom to bear arms (thanks NRA). For whatever reason, we cling to this as our inherent right...To be free. But how many of us truly live in this reality?
As I was talking about in my last post, I've gotten a new sense of what it means to play baseball. To be free from the self-induced and outside stresses that make the game into something it was never meant to be. It's a refreshing realization that I'm hoping seeps into every aspect of my life. But i'll ask it again...How many of us really embrace the freedom we have in our lives? Jobs become something more than they were intended to be. Whereas you might have started working because you liked it and you felt like a part of something bigger than yourself. Perhaps now it's just a means to an end. A way for you to make some money and afford those vacations you've wanted. Think about it this way...if you work 8 hours a day 5 days a week 50 weeks a year, that's 2,000 hours a year. Can you look at that and say "I'm satisfied/fulfilled with the way i'm spending those 2000 hours?"
The idea of taking away the power Winning and Losing has over us isn't just a baseball concept for me right now. It's a HUGE part of my Marriage. I like to be right and I hate being wrong. Very similar to winning and losing, no? I do whatever I can to make Ashley happy and satisfied, hoping that my "score" is moving in the right direction. I figure if I can rack up enough good-husband points then she will be happy, and I will have won at marriage. Big Mistake. You see, I'm not very skilled at racking up good-husband points. And even if I was, the number I need to win keeps getting higher and higher and I keep falling more and more behind. Where's the freedom in being married like that? I've realized that the freedom comes, not in doing enough things to keep her happy, but in knowing her on a deeper level everyday. You see, when you take the time and effort to know someone more deeply, you figure out what makes them tick. Not flowers, candy, mushy letters (although those can be good things); But really seeing them. Taking time to remember they exist. Asking about their emotions. Listening. Being spontaneous when possible, not just when convenient.
I believe that these last few weeks have been hard for a reason. They've shown Ashley and I that baseball is a game. Our marriage is not. Winning and Losing happens, but who cares. God is good and gracious even though we can be really thick-headed. And that life is too short to worry about things out of your control. Who knows what will happen in the next week. I could be moved across the country...again. I could be released and head back home. I could get hurt. There are too many variables to make an accurate prediction on anything in Minor League baseball. But I know this; When it's over and I can look back at my career, I won't see how many championships I won or games that i've lost. I will see the relationships I formed and how I grew as man and as a husband.
That freedom is oh-so-satisfying.