Lots of people are teaching me what it means to "live your call" in the world. This morning it is Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub himself. For those of you who are not long-suffering Cubs fans, Banks is a hall of fame baseball player, now 79 years old. This is what I learned about call from Mr. Cub this morning:
1. Place Matters: Banks says he first fell in love with playing baseball when he walked on to Wrigley Field. It was as if the space was saying, “This is where you need to be….this is your place. It captured me and grabbed me.” Sometimes a place will do that. We don’t know what will unfold in that place, but we know that this is the place we are supposed to be.
2. Following Your Call Doesn’t Mean it Will Be Easy: Lets just say the obvious—playing for the Chicago Cubs isn’t the easiest thing if you are a baseball player. It has been 101 years and counting since they won a championship. When Banks was asked how he dealt with this, he responded: “You care, but not too much. When we lost, I would care, but not too much.”
This reminds me of something Thomas Merton wrote to a young activist:
Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all….As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the truth of the work itself. (Merton, Letter to a Young Activist)
Maybe Banks said it best when he said, “It is possible to win without winning.”
3. Perspective and a Desire to Keep Growing: This Hall of Famer who hit over 500 home runs, says he hasn’t accomplished anything at all. What he really would like to do is to win the Nobel Peace Prize. I hope I have dreams that big when I am 79 years old.
To listen to the interview with Ernie Banks, click here
1. What place are you called to?
2. What are your big dreams?