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Forgiveness begins when we give up the quest to get even. This is difficult, because getting even is the natural obsession of the wounded soul. Stories about getting even always capture our attention. It wouldn’t surprise me if revenge is the theme of as many as half the movies shown in theaters today.

Sometime ago Dave Hagler, who works as an umpire in a recreational baseball league, was pulled over for driving too fast in the snow in Boulder, Colorado. He tried to talk the officer out of giving him a ticket by telling him how worried he was about insurance and how he’s normally a very safe driver, and so on. The officer said that if he didn’t like receiving the ticket, he could take the matter to court.

At the first game in the next baseball season, Dave Hagler is umpiring behind the plate, and the first batter up is--can you believe it?--the policeman. As the officer is about to step into the batter's box, they recognize each other. Long pause. The officer asks, "So how did the thing with the ticket go?"

Hagler says, "You’d better swing at everything."

(Ortberg, J. (2009). Everybody’s normal till you get to know them. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.)

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