For the first time in baseball history?- and in the World Series no less?- a game ended because the umpire called “obstruction”.
Will Middlebrooks, the third baseman for the Boston Red Sox, lunged for a throw from the catcher Jarrod Satalamacchia but could not reach it. He fell, and while lying on the ground he tripped Allen Craig who was rounding third base trying to score. Though Craig was out at the plate with plenty of room to spare, Jim Joyce the umpire, immediately called obstruction. According to this rarely employed rule, Craig, obstructed from running, was correctly awarded the base and the St. Louis Cardinals won. Undoubtedly, the ump had to make a gusty call, one that is going to be controversial for years to come.
But baseball is much more than just a game. It has always been a metaphor for life. In the immortal words of the great Babe Ruth: “Never allow the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game!”
Thinking about the analogies of baseball and life, and that particular obstruction call raises an interesting question.? What is obstructing us from living and expressing our full potential??What insecurity keeps us from experiencing deep connection in our important and intimate relationships?? What fear blocks our work from being truly satisfying and nurturing? What voices from our past or people in our present keep us from realizing and expressing our real potential?? What attitudes or thoughts obstruct us from following that deep pull to grow, be more, do more, and have more in our life?
This is where the metaphors should end.
There are always obstructions in life that get in the way, that knock us down and prevent us from being more of who we are and accomplishing more of what we want.? When you’re confronted with challenges that seem impassable, remember, you are your own umpire and you get to make the call.
Rabbi Irwin Kula is a 7th generation rabbi and a disruptive spiritual innovator. A rogue thinker, author of the award-winning book, Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life, and President-Emeritus of Clal – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, he works at the intersection of religion, innovation, and human flourishing. A popular commentator in both new and traditional media, he is co-founder with Craig Hatkoff and the late Professor Clay Christensen of The Disruptor Foundation whose mission is to advance disruptive innovation theory and its application in societal critical domains. He serves as a consultant to a wide range of foundations, organizations, think tanks, and businesses and is on the leadership team of Coburn Ventures, where he offers uncommon inputs on cultural and societal change to institutional investors across sectors and companies worldwide.