Friday evening, Dorothy and I watched the Houston Astros play the Seattle Mariners. The Astros won. Although the game was only attended by cardboard fans, other fans, like us, across America watched the teams they supported on their televisions. Of course, we liked that our team won. But, especially now, that is not what was and is most important.
As Dorothy and I watched the Mariners game, I reflected on the baseball game my father took me to in April of 1962. This was the second game of a three game series between the Houston Colt .45s (now the Astros) and the Chicago Cubs. Dad had checked me out of the hospital that evening to see the game. Soon, my mind transported me back to feel the cool breeze under the glow of the outfield flood lights. The taste and smell of hot-buttered popcorn. Shelling and consuming too many roasted salty peanuts. Hearing the loud voices yelling, “Ice cold beer.”
It was the evening before a risky 5-hour surgery for my orthopedic surgeon, Dr Paul Harrington, to carefully place three steel rods along the spine in my back. As Dad and I sat behind home plate, neither of us knew what the outcome of the game would be or how I would benefit from the surgery over my lifetime, if I survived the operation.
Dad and I knew the next day at Methodist Hospital would begin with the team of doctors, an anesthesiologist, and nurses working together as one to bring their different skills to perform my operation. Dr. Harrington could not have done the surgery alone anymore than a team of only one player could have beaten the Cubs that night.
My operation was an outstanding success because everyone on Dr. Harrington’s team did their best for me. The medical team did the very best to provide me with the best opportunity to have a life well-lived. I am still here today living and loving in the field of God’s dreams for me. Writing books and these prayers too. Helping couples divorce one another without destroying the families, harming the co-parenting relationship between parents or needlessly hurting their kids.
The Cubs most notable player was Ernie Banks, the great Hall of Famer. Ironically, the final Colt .45 pitcher for relief that evening was Richard “Turk” Farrell. Turk had polio like me. That night, Turk represented hope to me that one day I might be an athlete like him. With one large leg and one small withered leg, Turk at the time was one of the league’s most outstanding pitchers. Turk was named to represent Houston in both All-Star Games held that season.
Late in the game with Colt’s Bob Aspromonte in left field and Ernie Banks on 3rd base, the Cub’s batter at the plate face Turk at the mound. The batter hit a long drive deep to left field. In a play I will never forget, Bob Aspromonte caught the ball near the left field fence. As Bob Aspromonte threw the ball to home plate, Ernie Banks tagged 3rd base and headed to home plate. Hal Smith, our catcher, fielded the perfectly thrown ball. Ernie Banks was called out. That play saved the game as the Colts won 2-0.
As demonstrated in the movie Field of Dreams, we all need hope. Lives in which teamwork is valued. Where all of us joined together can do more than anyone of us can ever do alone. The prospect of sports being played under the cloud of the Coronavirus, shows us the value of teamwork. Teamwork that is far more important than the team who wins the game. For it is teamwork which will get us out of the Pandemic. It is teamwork which provides the best chance for everyone to succeed on the field of play, on the field of life and in the fields of our dreams. Whether it’s the Houston Astros, the Seattle Mariners, the Texans, Manchester United or any other sports team around the world, we need to celebrate the achievements of teamwork and the role each of us have to play at this time and forever.
God has spoken to us in Scripture about the importance of teamwork.
1 Corinthians 12:14• says; For the body is not one member, but many.
Additionally, in 1 Peter 4:10 it is said that: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
The message is very clear and simple, yet profound. We are God’s team. The body of God’s work and spirit on Earth. The body of God’s work is not supported by one person, but by every one of us. We are as one. We are our strongest, most victorious and formidable when we work together in unity. Teamwork is the key to opening the door to God’s heavenly love on Earth. To the fields of God’s dreams for us.
God, we thank You for those teams which have assembled to play their respective sports during this time of Pandemic.
God, we thank You for the courage and sacrifice of every athlete who has brought his or her talents on the field of play for us to enjoy, to celebrate, to be inspired by and to hope for what lies ahead of us at this time.
God, we thank You for the hope that one day soon the cloud of the Coronavirus will be lifted by Your grace through the teamwork of talented health care professionals. Professionals who bring their individual talents to serve as one team to win the deadly game the Coronavirus is playing against humanity.
God, in prayer, please guide us to act as one and to do our part in controlling the spread of the Coronavirus.
God, we pray that one day soon, may we all attend games of sport, sit in the stands, eat hot-buttered popcorn, and shell roasted peanuts as we watch America’s favorite Pastime. Let us be Your best team members in the field of dreams which dwell within each one of us because of Your love and spirit in every one of us. Amen
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Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.