By Jeff Becraft
A couple of weeks ago, I talked about an epic moment in a grocery store.
This week I want to talk about another epic moment that happened about 20 years ago. We had all gone to Vermont (our family – the Fab 5, and Brenda’s parents) in a smaller minivan where my parent-in-laws were sitting in the second seat with suitcases under their feet. (I wonder what was going through their minds…).
We had traveled to Vermont for a wedding anniversary celebration of some friends of Brenda’s family. I am not sure whose house that several of the out-of-town families stayed in but it had been vacated and that is where we all piled into.
During the day before the anniversary, we went rummaging around in the garage to see what we could find and what we could do for that afternoon.
What we found was a Joe Pepitone baseball bat (if anyone remembers who he is) that had actually been chipped off at one end and an old tennis ball. And thus, for the afternoon we had a baseball game. Even my mother-in-law joined in… and she was pretty good swinging the bat!
Now, we didn’t have enough people to field entire baseball teams so we just had home plate, first base, and third base… with a much narrower cone for being in play. You also were allowed to throw the ball at someone to get them out.
Among the participants were two brothers who played on opposite teams (we will call them Tim and John). One of the most memorable plays of the day was when Tim was pitching and John hit the ball and made it safely to first base… and Tim just lit him up with the ball. It wasn’t like he was running to first base or running through first base; no, he had safely arrived and was standing on first base. And from the field, his brother, Tim, just lit him up with the ball. The look on each of their faces was priceless. If you bring this game up to our son, this is the first thing he is going to refer to.
Being outside in a valley, in Vermont, in the fall, with the mountains as the backdrop, playing a make-shift baseball game, our entire family out there and doing something together (nothing we planned, we simply came up with it)… as a friend of mine named Scottie would say, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”
If you asked what are the top 100 epic moments of my life, that afternoon would be on that list.
No one had to be talented, there were no earbuds in anybody’s ears, we didn’t have a lot of resources, no one was on a phone, it cost precisely zero dollars… but we were outside doing something together, engaging with one another. Engagement and experience is what makes for epic moments. We still talk about it.
There are epic moments all around us to be had. Sometimes we simply need to unplug to find them… and engage with one another.
Jeff Becraft is the Interim Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].