My 14 year old son hit a 365 foot home run this week. His first home run on a normal, major league-ish sized baseball field. He’s hit home runs on smaller fields when he was younger, but this latest one was special.
The first time for anything is always special.
On the big fields he had hit balls to the fence, at the fence, striking the tops of fences, but this one finally made it over… and by a long distance.
What does this have to do with faith or film making?
That home run occurred because when he was given an opportunity, he was able to take advantage of it.
On this day, at this game, at this at-bat, facing this pitcher and a 1-2 count, he was thrown a fastball on the outside part of the plate. On this day, at this moment, he swung the bat at the correct speed, at the right time, at the right angle and hit the ball on the sweet spot of the bat, which is about one inch from the end.
The ball exploded off the bat and towered over the fence and over the tops of trees behind the fence, landing in a lake behind the field with a big splash.
I know what you’re asking. Again, what does this have to do with faith or film making?
That swing of the bat was the result of thousands of hours of practice, both at the field and by himself. That recognition of the pitch being a fastball from the rotation of the ball came from thousands of hours in batting cages, study of major league baseball games and countless hours of learning from the experts on MLB network.
All of those hours both on and off the field were a sacrifice for my son. He could have been doing many other things, but he chose to follow his passion for baseball. He chose to use his time to learn as much as he could and practice as much as he could so that when he got the opportunity, he could take advantage of it.
I’m a firm believer that everyone will come across opportunities. Sadly, I fear that only a very few people will actually be prepared to capitalize and succeed when they arrive.
If you want to be a screenwriter, then write all the time. Every day, if possible. If you want to be film maker, make films. Shorts, no-budget films with friends. Practice the craft. Practice, practice, practice.
One thing I’ve learned from my son’s passion for baseball and the competition it requires is that, if you’re not working on getting better, your competition is.
You never know when the opportunity to use your talents for pay and/or for God will arrive. Be ready.
As for faith, well, I’ve written here before about the need to identify God’s natural gifts in yourself and your children and to use those gifts to praise our Lord.
And, when it comes to faith, the opportunity we’re waiting for is to get to Heaven.
Will we be ready? How many hours are we putting into our faith? Into prayer? Into reading the bible? Into understanding our faith’s teachings? Into living by Jesus’ example?
How many hours are we sacrificing and living by God’s standards and not the world’s? How many things have we changed in our life, things we REALLY don’t want to get rid of, those ultra-pleasurable sins that we really like, in order to live a holy life?
Will we be ready, when we die, to take advantage of our opportunity to go to Heaven?
I can’t control when that opportunity will arise, but I can control what I do before it does.
Let’s hope we all end up hitting one out of the spiritual park.