Friday, March 28, 2014

Seven And Three Eighths

 I used to have a Houston Astros hat but I gave it to my little buddy, Dat, last summer in Vietnam. The following, from January 4, 2007, is about the only other piece of Astros equipment I have ever called my own.

I never know what to ask for in the way of Christmas presents. I have what I require although apparently others believe I am in desperate need of more ties and Starbucks' gift cards. When the time rolled around again this Christmas, I told my brother Dave and his gorgeous wife Sally that I could use a baseball hat. My supply is down to one NIKE hat and it is filthy. My preferences were either an Astro hat or a Yankee hat. Dave asked if I meant an official game hat or just one that uses the team logo while taking liberties with the dignity the head wear used to represent. Sadly, I have seen New York Yankee hats in both teal and pink shades. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig would blush if they could see what has become of the most famous insignia in American sport. I wanted the real thing and a fitted hat, not one with an adjustable band. A fitted hat doesn't fit everybody. It might be close on someone whose head closely resembles yours in circumference...but it won't be perfect. A baseball hat that fits just right is like an extension of your body. I told them I needed a size 7 3/8ths. Sure enough, on Christmas Eve, there was an Astro regulation baseball hat, size 7 3/8ths waiting for me from Dave and Sally. It was way too big. It slid down over my ears and my relatives laughed at me. Cap sizes are always a gamble. You would think sizes are consistent but they vary company to company. Years ago during a high school baseball tournament, the first base umpire, who owned a sporting goods store, told me how to shrink a hat 1/8th by wetting the inside band and putting it in the microwave for thirty seconds. Since then, I have shrunk many hats. Now, I simply put them in a bucket of hot water, let the hat dry, and repeat the process. It works like a charm! My Astro hat now fits my 7 3/8ths skull like a glove and I'm ready to be seen publicly.

We like things to fit. Repeatedly, we hear that the job is not a fit, the school is not a fit, the church is not a fit, the couple is not a fit. Maybe the problem is we aren't good at adapting or adjusting or being patient enough to let a situation that might be workable work itself out. The Bible uses illustrations of a potter with his material, the clay. To ever be effective, the clay has to change shape. It requires the willingness to bend and perhaps even get smaller. Becoming comfortable is a process. When I was playing high school basketball, I couldn't wait to get our new shoes for the year. My junior and senior years, we wore gold Converse. I would never practice in those Converse shoes before the first game. I would wear them around the house and break them in gently. By the time the opener came around, they were comfortable and they fit my feet perfectly. A perfect fit means we have to realize who we are. When the disciples of John the Baptist expressed jealousy over losing converts to Jesus, John replied, "he must become greater, I must become less." By acknowledging his loss of influence, John was better fitted for God's purpose and more useful in the kingdom. By shrinking 1/8th of a cap size, my Astro hat has made itself better fitted to me and thus more useful in my wardrobe. I wonder if John wore a
7 3/8ths?



Applicable quote of the day:
"Never wear a backward baseball cap to an interview unless applying for the job of umpire."
Dan Zevin



God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

1 comment:

JKC said...

I knew the minute I saw the heading what you were talking about - that is the size hat my dad wore - but his was always a cowboy hat - whether it was his old straw one or his Stetson, 7 3/8 was his size.

I have missed reading your blogs and writing when I had something to say. I can't tell you how busy I have been these past few months. I am homeschooling 7 year old grandson, Jordan(Kyle's only boy). This takes about 5 to 6 hours of my day - and I love every minute of it. But that doesn't give me much time left over.

Of course, I teach ladies & children's classes as often as I have the opportunity. BTW we are in India, as I write this.

I hope to find more opportunities to try to catch up from the past few months I have been "away".