You can’t go back


So to complete the Father’s Day experience, it was the case of the two Papas at the ball game, sitting in the upper deck in the hot sun, trying to stay cool and root for the Angels, which, on this day, was a losing enterprise. Yes, Chandler is missing from this picture, but he is just not a fan of baseball and he has already endured a game this year for my birthday, so I decided not to insist on his presence for the Father’s Day version, especially since we already celebrated with our family the day before.

Unfortunately, the Angels did not cooperate with our celebration by winning. In fact, it was their third loss in four games with the visiting Kansas City Royals. That’s after knocking off the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees in two series wins, two of the best teams in baseball right now. The Angels have a slightly better record than the Royals so far this year, but that doesn’t seem to matter. The Royals just have their number. Out of eight meetings so far this year between the two teams, the Angels have managed only one win. This seems to happen a lot in this sport, when one team owns another but it has nothing to do with their standings.

Making it doubly difficult were three very noisy Kansas City fans two rows behind us. At around the seventh inning, with the Royals enjoying a comfortable 7-3 lead, I turned around and asked the trio their connection with Kansas City. They told me they used to live there. “We grew up there,” they said.

“Well I guess that explains it,” I said, “but how long have you lived here?”

“About a year,” they said.

“And when will you be going back?”

“No time soon,” they answered.

I looked at them quizzically and said, “And how much longer do you plan to live in the past?”

By golly I think I might have shut them up with that comment, or at least got them thinking about it enough to temper their enthusiasm for the visiting team, because they seemed to quiet down some after that.

Which begs the question for all of us: Are we living in the past? Are we camping out at past glories or pulling up stakes and ready to move on to the new frontier even if it means losing?

I got a similar message from the entertainment section of today’s paper which reported on the Moody Blues reincarnation with the Hollywood Bowl orchestra this weekend as a bunch of ‘70s rockers taking their past too seriously, especially when it didn’t hold up well to the present.

Why root for a team when you don’t live there anymore? Why play music that’s dated instead of giving it a fresh new coat of paint? Stake your claim with the local team regardless of whether they are playing well or not. They’re playing for you. It’s all for you — the stadium, the food and drink, the entertainment, the free Father’s Day mug — it’s all to help you root for the local team, not to have you try and reenact an older glory from some other place or time.

We are looking to a new frontier. I still feel much like a pioneer. Forty-five years ago our generation presided over a revolution. Now there’s a new one coming. Our experience can help provide some insight for the new one, but not to try to go back. You can learn from the past; you just can’t go live there.

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13 Responses to You can’t go back

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Amen: “You can learn from the past; you just can’t go live there.”

  2. Gary says:

    This is a Rah Rah topic that needs to be stated. Look at the now and do the best you can to live with it. Come what may. Most of the past, in terms of the good and bad of it, should be a tool to use in lessons learned. I am very thankful for God’s forgiveness. Because I am not perfect. There are times when the old tape recorder in my head rewinds and plays back something I really regret having done. (Guilty) I don’t know why I have to relive such things in my head. It really bugs me. The hardest thing I have to figure out it seems is me. I understand that I am Free Indeed. It’s not a question of, is it not something of some unresolved matter. I’ve paid the price and held accountable for my actions. I might guess that it’s “how could I have been so stupid”. Can’t relive it to correct it !!

    • jwfisch says:

      Let it go. It’s done. It’s forgiven. You’ve got enough on your plate today, Jesus says, to add worries about tomorrow, but that goes for yesterday too!

      • Gary says:

        LOL I knew you were going to say that brother. There are SO many blessings in my life, I’m just complaining about those old tape recordings in my mind that pop up. It’s annoying. Just before I’m doze off . sorry to sound like I’m complaining. Blessings to you and yours.

  3. Sandie says:

    I know I can’t go back…especially to what I think of as my ‘glory days’….when I played an integral part in teens’ lives, when I stood on a stage, sang and ministered, when I rode my Harley and ministered in the outlaw biker world as chaplain of my chapter, when I ran a teen program at a local church….Now I have too much time to think and I wonder if, at my age, there are still ‘glory days’ ahead. If I listen to my own teaching, I know the past is gone; only there to learn from. I know I have no choice but to allow the Holy Spirit to re-invent me once more…but God I’m so tired and beat up right now it’s hard to trust that He can. Then there’s the part of me that KNOWS He WILL…that I will be useful in ministry once again…if I hang on and trust. Truly there is no other choice.

    • jwfisch says:

      You bet there are glory days ahead. Stick with us. We’re headed for those days!

      • Sandie says:

        Just another thought John…when I am in the process of ‘re-invention,’ I have to go to the past…to the beginning as it were…as a reminder of the foundation of my faith and ministry. There is comfort there – as well as renewed inspiration and determination. Thank you for being part of that.

  4. Markus says:

    I don’t know how it is in the USA, but over here people identify a lot with ‘their’ soccer club. In fact it is not even about the actual players on the field, it is really the club itself, both for good and for bad. Think “Marine Corps” style loyalty to get an idea. I don’t think that it is as bad in the USA, but still, I can see from where these fans were likely coming from. Their team, their club. It could very well be a part of their identity, and frankly, I don’t see anything wrong with this as such. Also, they were obviously not taking it too seriously, or else they would have reacted differently.

    As for you, you revealed your artistic identity here, I think. The hunger for development and for change is very telling here. Also, you use it for good by incorporating it into how you think, live and teach as a Christian. However, in many other people this hunger for a change can very well coexist with more traditional/nostalgic character traits.

    So please, be a bit more forgiving with the next fan who happens to cheer for the wrong team, because you can both be a pioneer and still continue to cheer for the wrong team! 😉

    • jwfisch says:

      I’ve moved 4 times and I’ve changed my baseball team 4 times. That’s just the way I see it. It’s part of loyalty. I think it’s a richer experience to learn about where you are than to try and stay connected to a place you don’t even live anymore.

  5. Peter Leenheer says:

    There is a theory that history is cyclical. Often unwittingly we live in the past and never learn from it so it plays itself over and over sort of like ground hog day. We need to get off the cycle. It is often too scary because we like to stick with the devil we know, even thought that devil is mean to us.
    Reinventing oneself with God the reinventer is very exciting but also very scary. As we all know Faith is spelled RISK. Let the adventure begin.

  6. xman50 says:

    John, I encourage you to listen to Seventh Sojourn by the Moody Blues. It’s a beautiful album that should be taken seriously! I can’t see just tossing everything that’s in the past into history’s trash bin. I know that wasn’t the gist of this message but the Moody Blues reference made me go ‘hmm’. Blessings.

    • jwfisch says:

      I like the Moody Blues and I’m sure the Hollywood Bowl concert was an amazing one — I was just using one critic’s comments to help make a point. Thanks for the comment.

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