Monday, April 7, 2014

Instant Replay

I'm not much of a baseball enthusiast and rarely follow the game on a local or national level. But this week Kirk and I began talking about a new policy in the MLB: the Instant Replay Expansion that went into effect for the 2014 season. Basically it's the ability for managers to have at least one chance per game to review a play and have a call changed (if the manager reviews a play and gets the call revoked- they have the opportunity to have another play reviewed- thus giving them up to 2 replay reviews per game). "The new system will give managers valuable recourse in potentially game-changing situations."  In one of the first games of the season a manager storms out of the dug-out ready to challenge the umpire, he throws his hat to the ground, stomps his feet, and raises his voice. Just as he's nearing the umpire he looks up towards the review box and notices that a technician on his team is giving him the "DON"T CHALLENGE this play" signal. He immediately knows that he is wrong and the call was fairly given. Sheepishly he walks back to the dug-out- probably a little embarrassed, but also grateful that he was stopped before he created a bigger scene and wasted his "Instant Replay". It's always a bit humbling being told you are wrong and knowing that it can be proved. 

Something that stands out to me with this new policy is the ability to be proven WRONG or RIGHT. It's an ability we don't always have on this earth life. We may feel that we are Right and others are WRONG- but do we really know for sure? As we were driving home late last night with our three children in the backseat- they began bickering with each other for their "fair share" of space on the seat. Mostly they were tired and ready for their own beds, but none of them were willing to make concessions or give up any of THEIR real estate they had staked claim to (I will admit that with growing children, three kids on one bench seat does seem a bit tight at times). I shared with them the new MLB policy and asked them to look at their individual reactions to the situation through the eyes of "instant replay". It was immediate that they were able to see things that they may have done which could prove them wrong. 

I believe that when death takes me, that I will have the opportunity to watch the instant replay of my life. The good, the bad, the ugly. Some parts I am eager to watch on the "Big Screen" and will be proud of many decisions that I have made. I also expect that there will parts of my life that I will cringe as I watch them unfold. As I pondered these thoughts, it occurred to me that I don't have to wait until death and endure possible "cringe-worthy" reactions to my own actions!  Through my relationship with God, I can watch an instant replay of my actions on a daily basis. I can then choose which parts are RIGHT, thus emphasizing those areas; and which parts are WRONG, thus working to eliminate and correct those areas.  Because of the atonement of Jesus Christ I can ask forgiveness and repent of my wrongdoings. 

As a parent I regularly ponder my responsibility to teach, to inspire, and to provide guidance, direction and example. And while I ponder my children ask the penetrating question: WHY? Like most parents I know we give guidance and direction because we have also experienced the same situations our children are now facing. It wasn't very long ago that I was the age of my daughter (ok, so it doesn't SEEM like that long ago), and was facing the dilemmas of being a student at Madison Jr. High just as she is now. The pressures of school work, combined with responsibilities at home and church, only to be buried under the intense awareness of social acceptance and friendships- often make growing up seem impossible. My Avery is handling herself with all the grace and confidence of any 13 year old girl! I can see myself in her on a daily basis- it's not only an "Instant Replay" but I often can see the outcome before it happens. It is during these times that I try to help her to be cautious of her actions and reactions as they will become part of her movie of life. She is a bright, and talented child (more so than I ever was)- and I see her being an influence for good for many. 

I think our children ask "WHY" for the same reason that I often ask my Heavenly Father "WHY". It's because I want assurance that what I am doing is right. Maybe like the manager that is rushing towards the umpire to challenge a call, we may glance up in the direction of somebody who knows FOR SURE the answer before we proceed.  If I will remember this, and remember to search, ponder, and pray before I make a fool of myself my "movie" will have more acts of love, kindness, and service, than it will of embarrassment, negativity, and foolish behavior. 


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