Rain had started to tap against the umbrella over our table. I spun the Starbucks cup in my hand and looked up to pose a question to my friend, and our assistant pastor, Scott Kramer.
“Did you ever picture an alternative path?”
In the 1990’s, Kramer was drafted by the Cleveland Indians. As a pitcher, small for the pros but powerful, he’d set a single game strike out record at Emory University. Scouts started attending with their pads and radar guns.
A stint in the minors, and three arm surgeries later, he was finished.
He laughed at my question.
“Of course I have,” he’d shuffled through a pair of jobs before being called to ministry and settling at our church for the past decade, “I wonder about what could have happened if I left baseball on my own will.”
We all feel the pressure of The Alternative Path.
Life can feel like a series of swings and misses. I help coach Carter’s baseball team. When he doesn’t hit the ball as hard or as well as he wants, he gets upset. I get frustrated.
Then I think about life and realize he’s mirroring me.
The Bible often paints pictures of lives shifted in the midst of their path. Mary, Joseph, Moses, Paul, everyone coming in contact with Jesus. We tell ourselves to Let Go and Let God (oh the profits for graphic designers).
I was listening to the Pastor Louis Giglio’s podcast from Passion City Church. He mentioned one of the most misquoted verses as this, “In my weakness he is strong.” The verse, as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians, is:
“When I am weak, then I am strong.”
Our regrets can feel like weakness, but they allow grace to shine through. When we are destroyed, we can find and reflect God’s strength to others.
The Alternative Path is tempting, the Greener Grass seems to surround us just out of reach. In these moments, stay strong.
Know that you are able.
Even if the hits aren’t perfect, there’s always the next game, the next moment, the next conversation to make it work on your journey.
The fog will lift and the day will come when it all makes sense.