So, I tried to figure out how to make these four videos play seamlessly on one player–I had the embedding code and after reading forum after forum on how to get a video longer than 10 minutes to play on youtube, or at least in the same player… I have given up… It has been a three day process and youtube has won this battle… BUT, you can just press play four times and pretend it’s one long video 😉 Enjoy (if you have 35 minutes to kill):
Final thoughts on my time overseas:
I have heard a lot through this journey how lucky I am. How people wished they had this opportunity or would love to do something similar to it. I have been lucky–from the beginning, having a random conversation that led me to Terry, all the way to the point at which my dad got the buddy pass for me to get over here 5 days before I left. I have been lucky that I lived with such a giving and gracious host. I have been lucky to have many people around me to fellowship with, learn from, catch rides from, shares stories with, play ball with, travel with. I have been lucky to get to play and coach the greatest game on the planet for 22 years. I have been lucky; probably more accurately called—blessed.
But… You can’t get lucky if you’re not willing (yes I know, that’s what she said). Many opportunities get dismissed right away and completely forgotten. I don’t remember very many things that I have never done. David Daly (President of FCA Baseball) mentions playing baseball in Hungary and coaching kids. I could have laughed that one off and my life would have been totally different. Maybe not worse, but it certainly would have tasted more bland in many ways (substitute teaching; A.K.A. pushing the play button, passing out worksheets, giving tests, and telling kids to be quiet while doing it).
Yes I missed my fantasy football draft and 2 ½ months with my fiancé, family and friends (items not listed in order of importance, I promise). Those things crossed my mind, but when you want something and there is a remote possibility it could happen, explore it. So many times I talk to people trying to figure out God’s will and so many times I have told them that God puts passion in our hearts for a reason—follow them within His standards! I wanted to do this so bad… That was enough. Nothing great was ever done without passion nor was anything great ever done out of complete and utter duty. If I am passionate about something, I can make great things happen.
One does not have time to maintain one’s regrets when they are furiously following their passions through the lens of Christ. It’s impossible. It’s not a running from the past, but rather a way of honoring the past and learning from it. It’s scratching and clawing with your fingernails for every inch :insert Al Paccino here: when there’s nothing left: energy, money, faith, discipline, focus, time, patience, love, fill-in-the-blank. It’s tiring living this way. People ask me how I have so much energy sometimes—I don’t! But, I have learned to live tired.
Adventure. For some reason I cannot live without it. So many are busy; they have many tasks and run around accomplishing many things. I am one of those people. I want to be productive and I never want to be bored. I never want to be still. But, when one is too busy, the question inevitably surfaces, is anything truly happening? Here I have learned to take a 20-minute bike ride to get a cup of coffee, 20 minutes to relax and enjoy it, and 20 minutes back—an hour for a cup of coffee was torture in the beginning! I could be doing something! I could be accomplishing something! Now, I enjoy the freedom my mind receives, the fences I pass, the people I watch, and the ladies that I can’t speak to in the bakery, but I can tell they are happy to see me and the feeling is mutual. With boredom comes death. With meaning, there is no such thing as boredom… It is replaced with purpose.
I have also come to discover that an adventure is only as good as the people involved and the those touched by the labor of it. This has been a special trip because Tomi relentlessly tapped me on the shoulder; because I have shared the fundamentals of the game without words to kids and adults forging strong wordless relationships; because I have gained membership in the Lingenhoel family; because I have gained a lifelong friend in Joey; because I was taught much about many things by Suzanne; because I was a part of 9 different teams; because I know my steps were guided by the Maker of the Universe.
So, what have I learned? You don’t need words to communicate. There is more wisdom in hard work than there is in knowledge. A day at the ball field is better than a day at the finest Turkish baths in the world. Belgium has better chocolate than Germany. Budapest is more beautiful than Prague. Many times who you are with is more important than what you are doing. Most of the lessons I have learned on this journey, I am sure, will surface more as life moves forward. Now… Substitute teaching, possibly some part-time sales, and of course coaching is calling my name!