Monday, October 7, 2013

Professional baseball in Korea, as in other parts of the world, is coming to the end of the season, playoff time, when the best teams square off to see who is the best of the best, a time when fan interest peaks.  It also helped a writer, in the Taegu Bulletin, to reflect on the prowess of two outstanding hitters--one even considered the home run champion of Asia--and what their experiences might teach us about the challenges we all must face when confronted with change, and the difficult choices we must make at that time. 
When these baseball players were students they were pitchers, but when they were called up to the major leagues, both were advised to  quit pitching and concentrate on hitting.  The writer believes that this change required a great deal of thought and worry, but however difficult it must have been for them, they made the change and today have become outstanding hitters. They both must be thankful, he says, that they made the change. 

What would have happened, the writer asks, if they hadn't made the change? He feels that both would have been extraordinary pitchers, if they had continued as pitchers. The strength of their conviction of becoming great hitters, after making the change, would have similarly empowered them, he believes, to succeed at  pitching if they had not made the change. Choosing to change is not enough to successfully change, he reminds us. If we want to change as successfully as our two baseball players, our choices must be accompanied by strong belief that we will succeed.

We are all, he says, like these two athletes who were faced with making a difficult decision, a choice that would change the direction of their lives. And like all choices, our chances of making that choice successful is often dependent on the strength of our convictions.

Our decisions in life are not like winning the lottery, he says. The choices we make are not  going to determine our success or failure, happiness or sadness. What is important is how much effort we will devote to meeting the challenges those choices inevitably bring.

"If only I didn't take that road." "If only I had chosen another field, another way of life," are unproductive thoughts, he says. Those who have such thoughts, he maintains, would very likely have shown the same regret if other choices had been made. The choice for those searching for the best things life has to offer will be successfully achieved, he says, depending on the conviction and passion behind the choice. Even when this empowered choice may result in failure, as seen by others, he says that the person who gives himself to what he believes is his calling in life will be filled with happiness.

"Grace perfects nature" is a phrase often heard. Though we try to develop the natural to the best of our ability, to maximize what has been received--the mind, body and spirit--we know that with  conviction and passion on our part, God will surprise us by what we are able to achieve.

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