On New Year’s Day, 2012, my oldest son, James and I played in a Disc Golf tournament. After a small entry fee, James and I played well enough to earn a Frisbee, placing in our age brackets. Before leaving, I also received money for winning a closest to the pin contest, 3 feet away. We celebrated on the way home, going out to lunch with our 2 brand new discs. Before last night, this was the last time I experienced joy.
This mood was broken by a chilling a phone call, a lost job and 18 months of hopelessness. While I thought earlier in the year my luck was going to change, subtle signs from the Lord clearly revealed Chick-fil-A was not going to be in my future. Falling apart on the inside, the prayers of dear friends and my church, has carried me across a barren desert of disappointment.
Deep in my heart, the only place I initially felt called was to coach Daniel, my younger son’s baseball team in Newark. During my month as a Marketing Director, I was convicted by my lack of time with family. In my absence, Coach Adrian, Coach Alex and my wife stepped in to fill the void left by me. The team held their own, hovering above 500 before I returned.
Last night, winning the league championship culminated one of the most gratifying seasons ever as a coach. Beside a few errors and base running blunders, every player contributed to score and or prevent runs from scoring. Emotionally fragile at times like my last 18 months, everyone kept their composure until the final out. The cherry on top is news earlier in the week of receiving a full time position with Amazon, with a start date set for next week. I thank the Lord for holding me together and providing these blessings so that joy could reemerge.
by Jay Mankus