Baseball & Introductions

Today was the best day EVER in campus visits. There was a tournament in Abilene for like 20 high school teams so we had around probably 7 or 8 families walk in wanting to grab information about campus. Baseball boys are my favorite I think (especially since Taylor was one). This one boy and his mom walked in and immediately I could tell they weren’t that interested even though they wanted information. Another lady had offered them the campus tour at 1 but they declined. In comes Sarah, the salesperson of the century (or so I become on things I really love). I started by telling him that it was heavenly timing that the tour ended before he had to leave and ended up resorting to bribery with a free tshirt and appealing to his manhood by telling him he’d be riding on our cool golfcarts. Whichever of the two he fell for, he came back at 1 with his mom and brought a friend. Afterwards I asked how it was and they both said “we really like it…we didn’t even know it was so nice”. They also reminded me oh-so-subtly that I owed them shirts. I guess salesmen come in handy on occasion…hopefully we’ll have 2 new players next year.

We had another boy who came yesterday in the late afternoon when I was trying to finish up to go home. He came in with his dad and I set him up for a campus visit today. He asked if he could have his name put on a visitor parking spot since he’d seen the other visitor names and and I told him absolutely. When he came this afternoon he was smiling from ear to ear and goes, “thanks so much for the parking sign!” His friend then told me they’d been outside taking pictures with it. Way to go baseball tourney for bringing all these cool kids.

Changing gears, a long time ago I got onto a kick about introductions. It occurred to me some time ago that you don’t get anywhere in life without introducing yourself and meeting those around you. It sounds elementary but is shocking how many people forget it’s importance. Think about it – you wouldn’t have any friends or significant others or even jobs without a simple beginning of an introduction. Why is it human nature, then, to skip this step? How many times have you been with a group of people who all know each other and no one introduces you? Even worse, how many times do people judge our churches by the number of people that meet them when they visit? It’s kind of embarrassing how self-focused we get. I wish everyone would just catch on. Every single relationship in life starts with an introduction. I wonder how much better we would all get along if we thought enough about others to meet them, remember them, and introduce them to others. Isn’t that where Marilyn Manson went wrong? Supposedly he went to some youth group that didn’t accept him…chances are they didn’t care enough to even meet him. Now look at what he’s like.

It seems so small and insignificant but it is so powerful. The people that make us feel important are those that go out of their way to meet us and then remember our names the next time they see us. One time in Memphis I visited a church with my friend. The day that I visited, my friend and I were stuck with about 15 older guys (seniors and juniors in high school when we were freshmen) so for one of the few times in my life I was pretty quiet. I had a good time but barely anyone spoke to me. I don’t think too much about it until my friend informed me that the youth minister’s wife had bad-mouthed me to eveyone, talking about how stuck up I was. The only problem with her making this claim (besides the obvious reasons of her leadership position among other things) was the fact that she never…NEVER…met me. Didn’t one time introduce herself yet judged my entire character. Maybe that’s where my obsession stems from, or maybe I just like people. Either way, I stand firm that the world would be a much better place if we learned to extend a hand and meet others, put names with faces, and got past the exterior to the person inside. It all starts with an introduction.

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