By Christopher Jack
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — I stepped up to the plate. I heard my buddies say, “Get a good hit Chris!” The pitcher threw the ball and it was the pitch a little boy dreams of. Just as I wound up and prepared to smack this ball into the stratosphere, my heart filled with joy because I knew there was going to be a parade with floats in my honor as I was about to become the youngest kid to hit a ball to the Middle East.
Just as I started my perfect swing, I heard a loud voice saying, “Chris, come in the house. It’s time for dinner.” Now as a little boy I learned a few colorful metaphors from my dad. I didn’t have a clue what my dad meant when he would say, “WHAT THE HELL” but I figured this was a good time to say it. With her voice ringing in my ear I swung as hard as I could. Strike three, the catcher said. With laughter all around me, I threw the bat on the ground and gave my Mom the worst look I could muster. Who cares if I was only 3 feet tall, afraid of leafs, and the sound of the dryer running at night. My mother had messed up the perfect pitch, but I couldn’t stay mad at her, she was the person who kissed me when I fell and scraped my knee.
As I got older I realized that I was not the only one Mom did that to. She called all of my brothers and my sisters in for dinner. I noticed that our family did something else I never saw my friends do. Every night mom had us all come into the living room and pray before we went to bed. Let’s see here, we ate dinner together, we prayed together and we went to church together. I have to be honest. All of this drove us crazy. Come on, we were kids, and on a Sunday morning we thought we should be playing baseball. I remember my mom saying, “One day you will be thankful that I took you to church”. Mom would always say, “If you get in trouble you can ask God for help”. I remember trying it once when I got a spanking… I believe God was busy elsewhere at the time I was receiving my sentence.
I always tell my students the story of OCT 17th (I will never tell the year). My job cut the hours of 90% of all the employees, my rent was past due, my car was repossessed, my refrigerator was empty and the electric company was at my door preparing to turn off my electricity. I am an adult but I will tell you the truth. I sat on my couch and began to cry. I recall saying, “Lord I need your help”. Then I prayed myself to sleep. The next morning my phone rang, it was my boss from work. My heart began to pound because I thought I was going to be fired, he said â€œChris, I have a full time job for you if you want it”? I was speechless. “Absolutely, I said”. A week later a friend at the job said he had a car he wanted to get rid of. Things began to look up for me and I never looked back. But the question still rings in my head. Why did this happen to me? I’m a good guy. Why?
I come from a family of twelve and I never shared any of this with them. Years later I shared with mom about what happened. I told her about the electric truck in back of the house and everything. She sat quietly listening as I told her my story, then she said she’s glad things worked out for me. I look at how blessed I am today and still wonder, what took me so long to ask God for help. Arrogance is a terrible thing. I’m glad I made it through it. Still, I hate to wonder where I would be if Mom did not introduce me to God… Thanks again Mom.
Christopher Jack, is a college professor, syndicated columnist, and public speaker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Caption: Christopher Jack