My uncle used to tell this story every year at his birthday celebration.
There were once two best friends who loved baseball. Their great theological question in life was whether there is baseball in heaven. So they make a pact that whoever passes away first will come back and tell the other whether there is baseball in heaven! Well, one passed away and sure enough, true to their pact, appears to his friend in a dream several days later.
“Well,” asks the surviving friend, “tell me already – is it good news or bad news?”
“Truth is,” comes the response, “it is both good news and bad news.”
“Well what’s the good news?”
“The good news is there is most certainly baseball in heaven. Not only that but there’s the finest diamond you could imagine. Moreover all the greats are here. DiMaggio, Ruth, Cobb”¦and we get to play with them. Everyday you look and you see what teams are up for the next week.”
His friend is overwhelmed with the good news. “That is fabulous!” he responds. “After all that, what could the bad new possibly be?”
“Well, I just looked at the lineup”¦and tomorrow” you’re up to bat.”
As long as we think we will live forever, we can afford to ignore ultimate issues. But once the simple truth that we are all “up to bat tomorrow” is internalized, then the search for meaning becomes a central concern.
Of course, there are appropriately many different answers as to what constitutes meaning. What is absolutely intriguing, though, is that all of the great systems of spirit viewed some form of significant giving beyond the circle of family as being essential to a life well lived!
You cannot be a lover without being committed to the growth of a community beyond your own circle.
Dr. Marc Gafni
The Erotic and the Holy