back of the napkin #26

three strikes

Batball2A Facebook article this morning reminded me of some dark days in my life.

The seminarian who dropped by my room one evening to tell me that he didn't want to be my friend.

The pastor who informed me that being absent from special meetings was reasoning for rejecting my application to join the church's pastor staff - and that I wasn't "personable" enough.

Others. Spilled milk. Scabs that need not be picked.

I guess I'm at a place in my life that things like this are like storm clouds on a beautiful summer's day - they are there, there's a potential for unpleasant weather, they might come or they might go; makes no difference to me.

I remember that I used to have a personal standard that if someone didn't respond after three attempts to make contact, I would consider the effort with a sport's metaphor: "Three strikes, and you're out."

I would leave the door to my life open to them in case they decided they wanted a chat, but anything more than that would be all on them. I had made my effort. Time to move on.

I commented on the Facebook article that I had attempted three times to reconnect with a pastor that I had considered a friend and a mentor.  He had taught me many things; we had spent many good times in prayer and in conversation. But after the rejection noted above, I never heard from him again.

Three times I tried to contact him. Three times I tried to reconnect with him. Three times I received silence.

One can only try so many times to set things right. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I know when to quit knocking when someone refuses to answer the door.

It's hard. It hurts. But the clock keeps ticking, and even a dullard like me figures out it's time to move on. I guess we all just want to know that we are remembered. Granted, all the efforts of a funny old fat man over the course of his life may have just been nothing when measured against the truly great and the eternally remembered. But I tried; walking away from a closed door is never very satisfying

But I at least tried...



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