the why behind the crazy things we do

Movie nights are always fun. Tonight we watched an oldie but goodie here at the Novitiate House ... Field of Dreams. My Dad is from Iowa farm country, so I've always gotten a kick out of this movie. Especially the comparisons of Iowa to heaven!

I think most people know the plot, but if not basically this farmer named Ray, played by Kevin Costner, hears a voice that tells him "If you build it, he will come." He plows under his corn to build a baseball field, everyone thinks he's crazy, but sure sure enough baseball players from bygone eras come to play ball. There's more to the story, but that's the gist.

It's been years since I've seen the movie. Tonight this bit of dialogue jumped out at me:
Ray: I've done everything I've been asked to do. I didn't understand, but I've done it. I haven't once asked what's in it for me.
Shoeless Joe: What are you saying?
Ray: I'm saying, "What's in it for me?"
Shoeless Joe: Is that why you did this? For you? ... I think you'd better stay here, Ray.

Hmmm.... I didn't hear voices in a corn field, but I too have done crazy things. Like leaving a good life where I had wonderful friends and did good work to live in a convent on the Hudson where I am far from my friends and doing the hard "inner work". I admit that sometimes I find myself asking, "Why am I doing this. What's in it for me?".

Well, I know there's actually quite a bit in this for me ... like the hope and dream of building an integrated life. And I know that the question, "what if" would never have gone away. Sometimes you need to listen to the crazy voice inside.

But Shoeless Joe's question hit me deeply. "Is that why you did this? For you?." In all honesty, no sane person would do this for themselves. Just like no sane person would plow under their corn field to build a baseball field in the middle of no where. The movie talks about "cosmic forces." For me, I know what the answer to Shoeless Joe's question is ... I did this for God. To know God more deeply and to be the me that God knows I can become. Like Ray, I think I need to stick around here to let what that means sink in a bit more.

1 comment:

Mark Mossa, SJ said...


(One of my favorite movies, btw!)

Hope you are well.