Even if you’re not a Royals fan, surely you would have enjoyed seeing what Randa and I and maybe a few hundred thousand other fans saw last night.
Detroit was hosting Kansas City for the second of a three-game series. Royals in the field, bottom of somewhere around the fifth or sixth inning, I think. I could be off an inning or two but that isn’t crucial to the point of the story. Alex Gordon playing left field, the position where he has already won two or a few Golden Glove awards.
Alex is playing maybe fifty or sixty feet from the left field foul line. One of the Tigers hits a deep fly ball over toward the edge of the playing field. Thanks to three or four replays, including a couple in slow motion, I am able to describe more detail of what happened next.
Alex takes off in a dead run, still chewing his bubble gum. Just before he initiates a diving catch, he starts blowing a bubble. He dives for the ball, bubble getting slightly larger. Since he is running to his right and is left handed, he has to twist and reach across his body to position his glove for the catch… while he is diving. He makes the catch, twists into something of a high speed forward roll and comes out of that move into a standing position, ball still in glove and bubble still growing.
He pulls the ball out of his glove, throws it to the infield, pops the bubble and starts walking back over to mid-left field. Just another routine, highly complex, amazing catch.
Obviously the dude is talented, no doubt about that. Very athletic, extremely well-coordinated, able to time a ball that leaves the bat at a hundred miles-an-hour, trace its arc over a few hundred feet, predict its angle of descent, and meet it at the precisely right millisecond and all that stuff. Lots of talent and lots of practice. Ability meets desire meets determination meets repetition. Result: Alex Gordon can chew gum, run, blow bubbles and do cool acrobatics while catching a baseball all at the same time.
Once we put that same sort of focus, effort and devotion into the imitation of Christ, we can walk through our lives, chew gum, and show mercy, compassion and forgiveness without noticeable effort. And make the world a better place at the same time.