The summer of 1998 is as sweet a memory as ever for Tim Forneris, particularly which warm September night on which he became part of baseball lore. After Mark McGwire crushed his 62nd home run of the season, breaking Roger Maris' record, it was Forneris, a part-time groundskeeper at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, who retrieved the historic cowhide. Considering the ball could have sold for $1 million or more, Forneris, a 22-year-old aspiring lawer, could have put that little round gold mine in his pocket, moved out of his parents' house and stopped worrying about law-school bills. Instead, he walked up to the Cardinals slugger and said, "Mr. McGwire, I think I have something that belongs to you." Forneris, who is now a public defencer, says... "That night I said, and I still believe this, that if I get a million experiences out of that ball, it will be worth more than a million dollars."
To Ponder: We talk about "possesion being nine-tenths of the law'" - but Tim Forneris returned a b aseball valued at $1 million dollars that would- by society's rules - be considered rightfully his... "Mr. McGwire, I think I have something that belongs to you."
- The baseball, which originally "came from"Mark McGwire - was "freely given"Tim. In Tim's mind and heart, even though the baseball was in his possession, it truly belolnged to Mark McGwire. He gave it back with thanks for the joy of that day, and the experiences that would come as a result of that gift.
- As people of faith, we say we believe that everything we have comes from God, but do we truly believe it? If so, what joyful experiences might come from "giving back"to God, what God has "freely given"to us?
Dear Lord, it is so easy for me to get caught up with the trappings of money and possesions. Help me to let go that I may be free from greed and selfishness. Remind me that the best things in life are free - joy, laughter, caring, sharing, and love. Amen.