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Monday, March 27, 2017

A Way of Life

Do you ever get the feeling that somebody is trying to tell you something? Like somebody up above is sending you a message? Sometimes I get that feeling, but unfortunately it can take me a while to catch on.

I recently played in a golf tournament to raise money for the Fullerton College Baseball Team. My Halo Baseball Club shares the same field, so a lot of us ballplayers sign up to support this cause. I had the privilege of playing with one of my teammates, Danny, who has been a close friend of mine for 10 years. I have always admired Danny because he is such a great baseball player, but more importantly because he is such a great Christian guy. Humble and kind are the best words I can use to describe him. He never brings up the fact that he has won an MSBL World Series Ring, but instead focuses on finding ways to praise his teammates. Me, on the other hand, I almost always find some way to bring up the story of how I won a World Series Ring, even if the people listening don’t even like baseball. Sure, I mention how practice and prayer were the keys to my success, but humility is obviously not my strong point.

Last week I was searching for some corporate books at my office when I came across something unusual, a military sword and picture. I had forgotten that I those items were at my office and I’m not even sure why I brought them there. But the picture of my Dad in his USMC dress white uniform and his beautiful military sword brought back a flood of memories. My Dad was the humblest, kindest person I have ever known. Even though he won the Navy/Marine Corps Medal of Valor, he never once talked about it, preferring to listen to others and/or give them the shirt off his back if they needed it.

On Friday I received Sports Illustrated in the mail with a picture of Mike Trout on the cover. Mike is the best player on the LA Angels and the best player in all of baseball. In his first five years, he has finished 1st or 2nd in the MVP voting every single year. Nobody else has ever even come close. But Mike doesn’t talk about that fact, instead he takes the time to sign hundreds of autographs before and after every game. He doesn’t seek the spotlight and in fact, he declined to talk about himself in the Sports Illustrated article, so the writers had to get most of their information for the story from scouts and coaches. In 2015 Mike heard about a family that had a fire in their house at Christmastime. On his own he purchased gifts for them and dropped them by their house, even though they were strangers. Had the family not said anything about it, nobody would have ever known. Mike low-keyed it like he always does.  

After thinking about these three events, it began to dawn on me that somebody was sending me a message about humility and kindness. So I looked up the meaning of those words in the original Hebrew language and discovered that those words carried an added idea that the English words don’t. They both refer to an act of grace and a person who is “useful”. Apparently, humility and kindness are much more than adjectives. For some people, they are a way of life!
Humility doesn’t mean you think less of yourself, but that you think of yourself less.
 ~ Max Lucado

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