BEING THERE IS THE ONLY WAY TO SEE IT

Dr. Steven Callis

Eight organizations are fielding a team in the playoffs, while 22 teams are home thinking of what might have been. Yes, it is post-season Major League Baseball.  Fans will pay anywhere from $30 to $450 to get through the gate for one of these games, and seats for a world series game start at around $400, if tickets can be found.

There is little doubt that the atmosphere of such an event is an awesome experience in itself.  The noise, the hype, the aromas, the fans, and the extremely small chance of catching a foul ball or home run ball for a souvenir.

My uncle took me to my very first MLB game when I was a young child.  He caught a foul ball from the bat of a Baltimore Orioles player and gave it to my brothers and me.  I was not old enough to realize how special – and rare – that was.  My guess is that it became an everyday backyard game ball, because it certainly is not mounted under glass on my shelf.

Something extraordinary happened in 1921 that changed, and enhanced, baseball fever.  For the first time in history, the World Series, featuring a “subway battle” between the New York Giants and the New York Yankees, was broadcast on radio under the voice of the famous Grantland Rice.  Then a 9-game series, the Giants defeated the Yankees 5 games to 3 games.

That event opened the door for students, decades later, to sneak “transistor” radios and earphones into the classroom at school to hear the broadcast.  Teachers easily detected their shenanigans, some of whom confiscated the radios, and others who graciously turned a blind eye (and asked for an occasional update!).

Nearly a century later, the stadium atmosphere still is exciting, but there is something to be said for relaxing in a recliner at home with a refrigerator full of concessions and the advantage of the rewind button on the remote and the ability to watch every game – even all of the playoff games – without missing a pitch.

I once attended a game at Turner Field where our seats were so far away from the infield that I literally could not see the baseball leave the pitcher’s hand or the hitter’s bat. I determined that day to either spend the money on decent seat location or stay home. However, especially if your ticket seats you close to the action, there really is nothing like being there.

Recent films have declared that “Heaven is For Real” and “God’s Not Dead.” You can see it on the big screen or on DVD, and you can read about it in books, but there is nothing like actually being there. The Bible offers a word picture of heaven and details on how to get there when that time comes in your life.  Take a look for yourself.  This is one time when being there is the only way to really experience it.

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