“You Can’t Go Back”

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

2022 Blog #30

August 1, 2022

Summer Cinema Scenes in 10 parts

Part 5 “Field of Dreams”

“You Can’t Go Back”

I’ve seen the movie “Field of Dreams” many times. I still cry when I watch it. Friends of mine who also like this movie represent a dichotomy of opinion. Half of them cry through this movie and half laugh at those of us who cry through it. It seems to touch some of us more than others.

Those of us who cry through the movie all seem to cry through different scenes of the movie. In each of us, a different scene triggers an emotional response. This movie speaks to many people in many different ways for many different reasons.

My greatest cry scene revolves around a character named Doctor Graham. The first time we see him he is an older man and small time doctor. He has served this small town for decades. He is now taking care of the children of people that he once took care of. The opinion from many town folks is that he was generous, often waving fees for those who could not afford medical care and a supporter of local missions on behalf of those who were destitute. By all accounts, he was a well-loved man who did great things for his hometown. He does hold a secret disappointment, however. He was play minor league baseball and one game in the majors. Why didn’t he continue to play?

In this movie, Archie “Moonlight” Graham faces a choice as a young man. He is playing ball as a rookie when a little girl is choking. He faces a choice. He can continue playing ball or keep the girl from choking. Of course, movie choices are always simple and straight forward. He faces a choice; play baseball or use his skills to become a doctor who cares for residents of a small town. He chooses the latter and there is no going back once this choice is made. Yet, he always harbors a bit doubt wondering if he should have stayed in baseball.

I bet we can all recall such events in our lives. There were times when we all faced crossroads in our lives. The choices that we made at those times set the course of our futures. If we are fortunate we have few regrets about the choices that we made. More importantly, I hope that the choices that we made led us to lives of doing good and not harm. We can always think about “what if” about our former past decisions but the real questions are, “are we doing well for others?” and “have we found happiness with the lives we lead?” We can’t go back and redo our lives.

So why do I love this scene? It reminds me of me as a child. I always wanted to be a professional baseball player. Unlike Moonlight Graham, I didn’t walk away from being a baseball player for any other reason than I was never a good player. I simply was not born athletic enough.  I feel Dr. Graham’s pain at not being able to be a pro-player even though I and his character did so under very different circumstances. Every time I watch a game I marvel at what the players can do because I know how difficult it was to do what they do.

We all make choices in life. Whatever choices we made I pray that we have found happiness and are doing good for other.

Field Of Dreams  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6bD23vEigE&t=97s

Published by pastormarkauthor

I have been a Reformed Church in America pastor and Christian Author since 1984. In addition I am certified Crisis Counselor, certified Disaster Chaplain and have two units of Clinical Pastoral Education.

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