BLOG_One of a kind, vol.2 no.13
My grandmother used to say that when we point a finger at someone, three fingers are pointing at us. Usually, it is said of us that we are being critical of something in ourselves that we have difficulty acknowledging or “owning up to.” It’s a blind spot. So, for example, someone might be critical of another’s eating habits. “They eat so much junk food,” the person says (while munching a bag of corn poofs). And then that muncher will critique the way that other person looks. That’s just one way people “keep score.” They judge another person and take delight in putting them down, thus putting themselves in a “one up” position (as in, “I’m better than you”). Let’s look at a healthier way to “keep score.”
Going to a baseball game (or softball) gives us an opportunity to keep score. There are various kinds of books people can use, some getting really elaborate. I like mine fairly simple. I like to keep track of balls and strikes, hits, home runs, walks. In the margin of the score book, I write things about our family, stuff that happened that week, along with a brief weather report (hot, humid, cool, overcast, temperature). I usually note the crowd size and, of course, the final score. The way my book is set up, one can see a brief history of our family; at least, a snapshot. It’s like a journal. You could read our family’s history through the lens of baseball. We list milestone events in our book. There’s one entry in one of my books, for example, where we were at a game during the week our son announced his engagement to the woman who is now our daughter-in-law. Tying baseball, our family, and traditions all together is one aspect of keeping a score book that I love. Another is what I like to think of as a theological reflection.
Looking at just one page of one score book and it’s easy to see that each page, each game, is one of a kind, unique in so many ways. There are no two exactly alike. The names may be the same, at least for the home team, and maybe even in the same batting order several games in a row. However, their performances will vary greatly. Some games, they will take few pitches and get a couple of hits. Others, they may take more pitches and yet strike out. They will drive in runs, or not. Make sacrifice flies, or not. Advance around the bases, or not. There is no end to the variety of marks and notes that one can make on any given score sheet. There will never be another game exactly like this one; nor has there ever been a game such as this. Here’s where the theology comes in to play.
Of all the permutations and combinations of genes and chromosomes available to Nature in the history of the Universe, there has never been another YOU – ever! Or another ME – ever. And, there will NEVER be another you, ever again. Or, another me, ever again. We, each of us, is entirely unique. Special. One of a kind. You have an absolute right to be here. So do I. So does everyone. Our interests will vary. Our abilities, skills, gifts vary widely and, interestingly enough, all work together if we would allow ourselves to see the interconnectedness of everyone else. Like a baseball team, some nights we are “in the zone,” getting hits, scoring runs, playing solid defense. Other nights, we’re a bit off. No matter, we need the whole team to play ball. Likewise, we need the whole community to work together to make a civil society. The uniqueness and importance of every single person is a lot like the uniqueness and importance of a baseball score sheet. Both, one of a kind. Atta girl! Atta boy! You got this!