I had my very own George Costanza moment. You know, George from the “Seinfeld” television series? It was a moment where I had to choose whether I would only think of myself, like George often did, or do the right thing and consider someone else's feelings.
I love baseball. I was at Dodd Stadium for a Tigers game last week. It was a beautiful evening. I remember thinking to myself, "I wish a foul ball would come my way so I could grab it as a souvenir." Guess what? I was sitting down the first baseline and a high pop came my way.
It bounced right behind me and I reached over and picked it up. Just then I noticed a young boy who had come running from the next section. He had his Tigers hat on and his baseball glove in his hand. He stopped when he saw that I had retrieved the ball.
His face dropped and he began to turn. You could tell he was disappointed that he hadn't gotten to the ball sooner. I realized I had a split-second to make a decision. I didn't even need that long. I called out to him. "Hey, you can have it."
His smile was worth a million foul balls. He jumped up and down and ran back to his parents to show them his trophy. Then I noticed that everyone in the section was clapping. It was a proud moment. I only wish I could say I always did the right thing.
Every day we have choices in what we will do and how we will act. If you are like me, you probably have more "Costanza" moments than you care to admit. Too often we act out of foolish pride or selfish interests. We are the ones who walk away sad.
The good news is that when that happens, God's grace is always available to us. Let me tell you: It is better than a foul ball. It's a home run. When we come to him, he forgives our foolish ways. He sends us away forgiven and knowing that we are loved.
I pray that we can all be a bit more like that when we get caught up in a moment. Show a bit of grace to those around you and listen as the angels begin clapping from the gates of heaven.
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church of Westerly.