Triple Play

by Larry Hehn on August 7, 2013

baseballEvery year, more than 2,400 regular season games are played in Major League Baseball. Over the past 20 years, roughly four triple plays have been recorded each year on average.

At those odds, you’d likely have to watch over 600 baseball games before witnessing a triple play. That’s more than 7 seasons if you attend your favorite team’s every home game.

The triple play is a rare and exciting feat.

It’s one of the most energizing plays for the team that makes it, and one of the most deflating for the team that suffers it.

In the almost 40 years I’ve been playing softball, I’ve now been part of two triple plays.

The first was about 25 years ago. My team was batting. I was on second base, with a teammate on first. Our batter hit a hard ground ball straight to the third baseman. He fielded the ball, stepped on third to record me as the first out, and threw to second for the next out. The second baseman relayed the throw on to first for the triple play.

The second triple play of my career was last week, but this time the shoe was on the other foot. The opposing team had runners on first and second. I was playing first base. The batter hit a sharp line drive that the runners thought was going through for a hit. I managed to snag the line drive and tag out the runner between first and second in one motion. I then threw the ball to our shortstop in time to force out the other runner who was scrambling back to second base.

That was followed by a lot of cheers and high fives!

To witness a triple play is special on its own. To record two of the outs and assist on the third is a rare honor. I don’t expect to experience another triple play in my dwindling softball career, so this one will definitely be treasured. I don’t think I have another 600 games in me!

The chance to turn a triple play doesn’t present itself very often. I now realize it took years of practice, and plenty of routine plays, to get me ready to help turn that one piece of history.

So while you may be looking for that 1-in-600 chance to shine, remember the other 599 games you need to get you there.

You can’t have one without the other.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. – Galatians 6:9

What’s the most memorable sporting moment you’ve witnessed?


The Problem With Passion

by Larry Hehn on July 17, 2013


“Follow your passion.”

It has become the mantra of a generation.

At quick glance, it might even seem to make sense.

But don’t go tattooing it across your forearm or between your shoulder blades just yet. First, watch some early auditions for American Idol. Or America’s Got Talent. Then realize how misleading your passion can be.

You may be passionate about something, but it doesn’t mean you are – or ever will be – any good at it. You may be passionate about something, but it doesn’t mean that it is – or ever will be – any good for you. Or others.

Passion can be fleeting. It can be misguided. As romantic and inspirational as it may sound, following your passion can get you into heaps of trouble.

“Romeo and Juliet followed their passion. Look where that got them.”
– Stephen Balkam

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that we are to live without passion.

What it does mean is we need to cultivate our passion, not submit to it carte blanche. We need to discover and develop it through following God’s direction.

Fact is, most people who are passionate about what they do, developed that passion over time. They did more than identify a personal desire and follow it. Rather, they discovered a way to use their gifts to serve others, and it has grown into a passion.

The problem with passion? It needs to be directed, not followed.

Don’t follow your passion. Cultivate it.

All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.  But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)  – Ephesians 2:3-5

But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them. – Jude 1:17-19


Honking In the Drive-Through

by Larry Hehn on June 24, 2013

honking hornOn Saturday morning my wife and I pulled into a local drive-through to grab a coffee before heading out to Limehouse Conservation Area to take some pictures.

(Yep, the new blog design is the result of that trip. Thank you, Monique, for snapping all those photos!)

I was amazed at the number of cars in line. There must have been 15 to 20 vehicles queuing up for their morning sustenance.

As we all inched forward, making slow but steady progress, some impatient driver near the back of the line decided to express his dismay, and perhaps try to quicken the pace, by honking his horn.

Which caused every single person ahead of him in the bumper-to-bumper lineup to:

  1. become exceedingly cheerful
  2. instantly pay for and receive their food and drink orders regardless of their position in line, then
  3. vanish from sight.


In fact, studies show that honking your horn in the drive-through does not cause all vehicles in front of you to magically receive their orders and disappear. Nor does it put you in friendly terms with any of the drive-through workers or patrons.

I’m not sure what possessed the guy to start honking his horn, or how he felt it might somehow speed up his progress. Part of me wondered why, if he was in such a hurry, he willingly joined a long line in the drive-through in the first place.

Another part of me wondered…what would happen if somebody snuck over and changed out that guy’s horn for, say, a whoopee cushion?

Dude, you’re going to be stuck in the drive-through for the next two-and-a-half minutes whether you like it or not. You can choose to get yourself and everyone around you wound up about it, or you can chill out. Maybe even inject a little levity.

If you could choose a different sound for that guy’s car horn, what would you make it?