Someone once told me that life's meaning is determined by the perspective from which you view it. That was true for me this morning as I thought about last night's softball game. We won the game handily, which hasn't happened all that often this season. As the time approached for the game to begin I scribbled down the line-up and included my name at the bottom. Then three more players showed up.
I did not intend to play very much this year. My role as player-manager was to fill in when needed and to get just enough at bats to qualify for the play-off roster. That was my plan as the season began but a lack of turnout forced me to play in several games down the stretch.
I didn't do too badly either. My average was over .500 and at one point I was leading the team with a .700 mark. As manager I struggled with how much I should play because I wanted everyone else to get at bats. For the last six games it didn't matter because I always made the tenth player. We were always running short handed.
Then a funny thing happened. We keep statistics going back to our first year in the league in 1987. I've played or coached almost every year. Two weeks ago I noticed that I was closing in on the 400 hit plateau. No one had played long enough or well enough to reach that mark. I decided to go for it. I was at 390 with six games to go. It seemed very doable.
That brings me to last night's game and my decision. With 398 hits and two games to go I looked at our line-up and decided to drop my name and let the other guys play. We won and even though I thought about pinch hitting, I decided that this game wasn't about me. It was about the team. That's something I have been preaching for years and I wasn't going to change that now.
I woke up this morning and realized that I may not hit that elite mark this season. Our last game is Monday. I was okay with that because I began to look at it from a different perspective. Missing the mark this year only gave me an added reason to come back next season.
It is how you look at it. When I was out at the Crystal Cathedral five years ago I heard Robert Schuller speak. That day he shared his rule of ten philosophy. He says when most people are confronted with as decision, they usually look at two or maybe three options. If nothing works out, they give up. On the other hand, he expands his options to ten. That is part of his possibility thinking. Schuller says that when you expand to ten, you will always have an acceptable option.
I like that. So when I start getting down, I try to look at life from a fresh vantage point and more often than not, I find something to like.