Monday, June 30, 2008

Living Life to the Fullest

A great story comes out of American baseball. Even if you don’t like or understand the game, I think you will enjoy this story.

One night, a Dodgers minor league team coached by legendary Tommy Lasorda was leading a Tucson, Arizona team by one run in the eighth inning, but Tucson had the bases loaded with two outs. According to Don Martin in Team Think (Penguin books, Ltd., 1993), Lasorda decided to pep up his pitcher, a left-hander named Bobby O'Brien.

Lasorda slowly walked out to the mound and said, "Bobby, if the heavens opened up right now and you could hear the voice of the Big Dodger in the sky and he said to you, 'Bobby, you're going to die and come up to heaven, and this is the last batter you're ever going to face,' how would you like the meet the Lord, getting this man out or letting him get a hit from you?"

"I'd want to face him getting this guy out," O'Brien replied.

"That's right," said Lasorda, "you would. Now, how do you know that after you throw the next pitch you're not going to die? This might really be the last hitter you're ever going to face and if it is, you'll want to face the Lord getting him out."

Lasorda figured it was just about the best pep talk ever and he strutted confidently back to the dugout. O'Brien wound up and threw the pitch. The batter lined a base hit to right field, knocking in two runs.

Lasorda was beside himself. "Bobby, what happened?" he asked.

"It's like this, Skip," said O'Brien. "You had me so worried about dying I couldn't concentrate on the batter!"

I know that many people are worried about dying. In fact, they are so concerned about it they can't even enjoy what is right before them. But there are other people who, when they think about their own death and how little time they may have left, actually live more intentionally and more fully.

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a long-time student of death and dying, put it like this: "It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had."

It's true; all of us have a limited time here on earth. But we DO have today.

As for me, I just want to live today as fully as possible -- as if there were not going to be many more tomorrows.

-- Steve Goodier

image: Littlehand

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