'Fair or Foul?'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

In baseball (which I miss by the way) there is a ‘foul line’ that runs from home plate down the first and third base line into the left and right field and ultimately ends at what is called the ‘foul pole’.  What has always been interesting to me is that should the baseball land on the ‘foul line’ or hit the ‘foul pole’, it is deemed a ‘fair ball’.  Why not, then, name it a ‘fair line’ and a ‘fair pole’ instead of ‘foul’?  In basketball and American football, the lines marking the playing boundaries are out of bounds.  Not in baseball, the lines and poles are in ‘fair territory’.  Then why call it ‘foul’?

As best I can determine through ‘Google’ research, this is just how it began.  “The lines marked ‘foul territory’, yet they themselves were in ‘fair territory’Once something begins, it can be difficult to change its course.

Perhaps you are thinking that this is ‘much ado about nothing’.  But consider more important issues…issues of morality, relationship, and human dignity.  The reality is that the way things often start is not the best way for them to become.  For example, I used to think that first impressions were the best impressions (foul thinking).  However, life has shown me that people need a lot more than a ‘first impression’ (fair thinking).  Sammy and Betty at first glance seemed to be the gruffest and rudest people I had ever met.  They wanted to join the church I was serving, and I was uneasy not being certain of their real agenda.  I was already putting them in the category of ‘Be Careful with these two’.

Yet Sammy and Betty turned out to be two of the finest servants I have ever met in God’s Kingdom work.  Betty baked pecan pies for every visitor that came to church.  Sammy spend countless hours in that town’s youth programs.  He influenced countless lives without ever needing or wanting the credit.  I was wrong about Sammy and Betty and I have been wrong about many other things that began a certain way…only to discover, there was a better way.

Having been born into a human system where some people are treated superior to others is not the best way…it is a foul way.  It may have begun this way when our country and thus our government systems were formed, but there is a much better way…a fair way.  A way that is not ‘foul’ but a way that is ‘fair’ for all people everywhere.  There is a ‘Gospel Way’ and it is a ‘win-win’ way… “Give and it shall be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together and running over…” Luke 6:38  There is a better way… ‘fair way’.
Always Thinking…

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