With 288 days of catch remaining and only a handful of games on the calendar, my simple bedtime prayer has been for divine opportunities each day. Today’s answered prayer came via Mom.
Mom sent me two texts this morning while I was working on a poem about playing catch for a presentation I’m giving in a few weeks. The first text was a picture of two amazing parents supporting the catch-playing cause.
The second text was the following message. “Jane recommended you play catch with someone from I Pour Life.”
I Pour Life helps “people overcome social isolation by developing their unique strengths and talents so they can become self-sufficient.” I Pour Life designs programs to meet the specific needs of the individuals they serve and partners them with a Life Coach. I sent I Pour Life a message and worked on the poem while I waited. They replied before I could even complete the next stanza.
I drove to I Pour Life and was greeted by Lexie, a Red Sox fan from Atlanta who just moved to town a few weeks ago. She and Maureen visited with me while Tyler was out grabbing lunch for a couple of the friends he coaches.
Tyler is a Life Coach who started working with I Pour Life in Springfield last May. This past weekend, Tyler and his wife celebrated their first anniversary. With his home in Tennessee, that’s a lot of transition in a little time.
“When you are pushed outside your comfort zone, that lack of comfort creates big opportunities, if you’re willing to put in the time and work. I’m also learning a lot about humility and prayer.”
Tyler’s a fan of all athletes who are disciplined and put in the hard work to achieve their goals. He dreams of one day owning his own CrossFit gym and becoming a certified coach.
“A true coach is someone who willingly sets their agenda aside to listen and help another person become better. And so much of coaching is applicable to all parts of life.”
It wasn’t pouring outside, but it wasn’t not raining either. And the sun was shining, too. A fitting transition of the seasons.
Tyler last played catch just a few weeks ago in a friend’s backyard, and before that it would have been with his younger brother who’s back in Tennessee. We talked about everyday stuff you talk about while playing catch — movies and music and books and life. And then Tyler told me how this job is an answer to prayer.
“I used to tell people I wish I could get paid just to love others and help them be better. And now that’s what I’m doing.”
Tyler approaches life with a true coach’s heart; he loves people deeply and wants them to be better. Daily, he strives to live out his favorite verse of the Bible, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1).
I don’t know if playing catch every day is a calling or just crazy. But I do know playing catch is a beautiful reminder life is meant to be shared.