On October 14, 1965, I was showing my Black Angus heifer Calamity Jane at the Ouachita Valley Fair. I remember that day not because she won the show (she was a real looker), but because that afternoon I wandered over to the Exhibit Building and happened upon a TV broadcasting game 7 of the World Series.
That day Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers faced Jim Kaat of the Minnesota Twins. They had met in game 2, won by the Twins, with Kaat pitching a complete game shutout, and again in game 5, won by the Dodgers, as Koufax pitched his own complete game shutout. Koufax was my favorite player. A devout Jew, he had refused to pitch game 1 of the series which fell on Yom Kippur. Even a 12 year old Baptist boy like me admired that his faith trumped baseball, even the World Series.
It was a day I will never forget, as both pitchers worked on only 2 days rest. Kaat was effective for 4 innings, but Koufax was masterful, striking out 13 en route to his 2nd complete game shutout in 3 days, as the Dodgers won the series. It was an afternoon etched into my memory, and had I been at school, I would have missed it all. I was exactly at the right place at the right time.
Have you ever felt that way? Maybe it was the place where you met your spouse, or where you were because of a road taken or a missed plane. I know some believe we randomly walk through life, but I'm convinced there are no coincidences. Either way, places and situations we find ourselves can have a significant impact on our life.
Is there any way that coming here to Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp could be considered being at the right place at the right time? The easy answer to that question is a big fat NO. The thoughtful answer is "Ask me in 10 years." There is no doubt that coming here will be life changing, as I will forever be a convicted felon. I will live with the decisions I made that put me in prison and caused great harm to people who trusted me to do better. But I will also connect and reconnect with people while here whom I believe God will put in my life for a reason. That's already happened and will continue to happen.
Hopefully I can use this time to develop a willingness to mindfully live each moment that comes to me, not hiding from the past nor expecting anything of the future. If we can focus on 'being' instead of worrying about 'becoming', we can enjoy the rapture of being alive. Who we might become is secondary to the experience of the moment. While the limitless mystery of God is usually beyond our awareness, living in the moment is still our best opportunity to embrace and fulfill that mystery. The present moment, when fully experienced, can bring great joy; and today's joy creates a hopeful future. When we do that, we are always in the right place at the right time, even though we might not realize it until later.
Look for those moments and embrace them when they come. No doubt some will be challenging, but in hindsight they'll become exactly the right place to be and at the right time.