|Archibald "Moonlight" Graham|
NY Giants, 1905
If you've never seen the movie Field of Dreams, I feel sorry for you. It's my #1 favorite movie.
Baseball fan Ray Kinsella, at the urging of a mysterious voice, builds a ballpark in his corn field, drives from Iowa to Boston to take a famous writer to a ballgame, and winds up in Chisholm, Minnesota, in search of an old ballplayer who played a single inning for the New York Giants, but never got a turn at bat.
They find Archie "Moonlight" Graham in Chisholm, but he's no longer the young ballplayer. He's now "Doc" Graham, the small town doctor who has devoted his life to the people of his town. While there's a small part of him that still wonders about what might have been, his heart is elsewhere.
Ray Kinsella: “Fifty years ago you came this close to your dream. I mean, it would kill some men to get that close to their dream and not touch it. They’d consider it a tragedy.”
Doctor Archibald Graham: “Son, if I’d only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes, now that would have been a tragedy.”
(Field of Dreams, Universal Pictures, 1989)
Ray Kinsella doesn't understand how he can say that, but the old doctor explains to him that Chisholm is where his heart abides.
“This is my most special place in all the world, Ray. Once a place touches you like this, the wind never blows so cold again. You feel for it, like it was your child. I can’t leave Chisolm. I was born here, I live here, I’ll die here, with no regrets.”
John, the apostle, uses the word abide fifty times in his writings.
For years John was quite comfortable abiding by the sea of Galilee, living the rugged blue collar life of a fisherman. Family was important to him: he and Andrew were know as the sons of Zebedee, and their mother was a helicopter mom before there were helicopters.
His friends and co-workers were also important to him. Anyone who works at harvesting a crop lives a large portion of his life in the place where he works his trade. For John, his most special place in all the world would have been the boats. Sailing the boat, working the nets, battling the elements, alongside his brother and his friends, he would feel at home. That boat provided sustenance for his family, close-knit friendship, and purpose for his life.
And then he met Jesus.
He found eternal life in Jesus (I John 2:24-25). In Jesus he found fellowship (I John 1:3-7). And in Jesus he found purpose in loving the world Jesus loved (I John 3:11-20).
Once Jesus touches you like that, the wind never blows so cold again. Why would you eve want to go back to the life you once called home?
Abide in me and I will abide in you. John 15:4