“You can do hard things.”
It’s the lesson Chris hoped his sons would learn as they hiked fourteeners and camped in the mountains of Colorado.
Chris is a Cardinals fan, an Ozzie fan, and wore a powder blue jacket for catch. But no hat.
“You don’t think I’d put a baseball cap on this, do you?”
For the 25 years I’ve known him, Chris has always had picture-perfect hair. I guess, in its own way, my hair has also been perfect. Working together at The Discovery Zone, doing everything we could to avoid stepping in hidden puddles, we sang along to whatever music was playing and pelted each other with the plastic balls from the ball pit. He used to tell the best stories to help pass the time.
Chris peaked as a baseball player in 6th grade. Playing against the Dairy Queen team, Chris hit two grand slams and a bases-loaded triple.
Eleven RBIs in one game.
He quit playing the game after a tough year in 7th grade and still regrets it.
“I didn’t know then what I know now. I am capable of so much more, I just have to push through the hard times.”
Because of his sons, he got into soccer and has been coaching for the last decade.
“I love seeing that player, that one player, who exceeds everyone’s expectations.”
Chris now pastors at Story Church which meets at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Having worked at a church, I know how hard it is to be a pastor. Pastoring radically affects all parts of one’s life. In every story, in every life, there are hard parts.
But there is also hope.
The darkness doesn’t last.
The light is coming. The days are getting longer.
On the day of the winter solstice, we played catch in the park and kept telling stories.
What a fantastic way to end the year.
Only 10 catch playing days left.