At first glance, you might think my entry tonight is about mission work in general or more specifically, about this little girl selling lottery tickets in a ramshackle neighborhood by the river in Can Tho, Vietnam. But it isn't- it's about the shirt I'm wearing in that picture. You see, this morning I was an hour later than normal for my Saturday morning lifting session at Chancellors Family Center. Typically, I am almost by myself but today, I arrived in the middle of an aerobics/stretching/light weights class of very elderly folks taught very ably by Annette. I was using one of the machines in the front part of the workout room where the class was conducted when a very elderly gentleman approached me and inquired about the shirt. He asked if it had to do with the College World Series and I told him it did. Curiously, he asked if I would turn around and let him see the back. I was happy to oblige. On the back were listed all the NCAA baseball champions since the CWS moved to Omaha, Nebraska in 1950. He found what he was looking for and told me that the University of Texas was listed as the first champion. My new friend also told me that he played on that team and that they had also won the year before (1949) but the venue that year was Wichita, Kansas. In turn, I told him the gift came as the result of one of my former students at WCS, Cody Glenn, who started a game on the mound for LSU in the 2013 Series and that I was from a small Nebraska town myself. He complimented Omaha on running a world class event and as he returned to his exercising, he said one more thing:
"Thanks for reminding me!"
It was my pleasure, even though it was totally unintended on my part. I could have worn any number of shirts but I just happened to pick the one that made his day. I think it made both of our days.
I have actually seen the gentleman in question before and thought that he bore a striking resemblanc to famed Dallas Cowboys coach, Tom Landry. A quick mental math calculation puts his age at about eighty-seven and he still looks like an athlete. I wish I had asked him his name but I'm oddly shy in some social circumstances. As the day has passed by, his words have been percolating in my mind. We like to be reminded of things that matter. Tomorrow is Mothers' Day and many children with old photos are posting them on Facebook with a few memories thrown in for good measure- I did as well with more than fifty likes in a few short hours! But tomorrow, we also will celebrate the even more important memory of the Savior who laid down His life for the sins of the world. Jesus told His apostles that when they partook of the Lord's Supper, they were doing it to remember Him. I should never forget the sacrifices Nelda Chesshir Hawley made for our family. They made an eternal difference to her offspring and by the ripple effect, others who might not have known her. But it would be catastrophic spiritually to overlook the one sacrifice that matters for the salvation of the world. And no T-shirt listing can ever do it justice. Thank God.
*The caption to the baseball picture reads, "Kal Segrist is met at home plate by his Longhorn teammates after hitting a three run homer against Washington State."
Applicable quote of the day:
"Never wear a red t-shirt to Target. I enjoy helping people, but not every two minutes."
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