A Catholic Convert talks about faith and life

Maybe Bill Maher can have a “Field of Dreams” moment

Earlier today I came across this post -


and it made me think of some things.  The first thing it made me think of was how I used to think the exact same way that Bill Maher does now. I believed that only weak, gullible people could possibly believe in something like Christianity, or even God Himself for that matter.  I would look down at people who I knew were believers, even though some of the strongest, most intelligent people I knew were also believers.  You can explain anything away if you try hard enough, just like Bill Maher does with his line “You can have whatever opinion you want, and the fact that a billion other people believe it gives you a lot of strength and credence.”  This was his way of saying that just because you and a billion other idiots have this opinion doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to be idiots as well.  I’m paraphrasing, but I’m pretty sure that was his point.  The next thing that it made me think of was the fact that I am going to continue to pray for Bill Maher, and others like him, to have what I call their “Field of Dreams” moment.

What the heck is a “Field of Dreams” moment, you ask?  Do I want Bill Maher to build a baseball field in an Iowa corn field so that dead baseball players can play baseball on it?  One word answer – No.  What I want is for something to happen, like it did to me, that makes him see so plainly that thing that his mind is currently blocking.  Let me explain.  Have you ever seen the movie “Field of Dreams”?  If not, I’m going to ruin the ending for you here, so stop reading, go out and rent the movie (or just turn on TBS right now, it seems to be on all the time) and then continue reading.  Actually, skip that, the movie is twenty years old.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you probably never will.  So just continue reading.

In the movie a man, Ray, hears a voice that causes him to clear an area in his corn field for a baseball field, complete with lights and bleachers.  Then, an amazing thing happens.  Deceased baseball players show up on his field and begin holding practices and games.  The whole family can see the ball players, all of them except Ray’s brother in law, Mark.  All Mark can see is that Ray is insane.  He plowed under a bunch of prime farm land for a fantasy baseball field where nothing happens, at least nothing Mark can see.  Ray begins having trouble paying his mortgage, mainly because of the lost farm land, and Mark tells him to sell the farm to him and his investors.  Ray says no way, he’s not selling.  Mark is infuriated, all he can see is the money Ray is missing out on.  Ray doesn’t care, all he can see is the baseball game that Mark is missing out on.

Then, something happens.  Mark comes to the farm.  He walks through the middle of the baseball game, completely oblivious to what’s going on, infuriating the baseball players that he can’t see.  He goes to Ray and tells him he has to sell the farm, Ray says no.  They get in an argument and in the commotion Ray’s daughter falls from the bleachers to the ground.  The little girl is unconscious and in need of medical attention, and it just so happens that one of the ball players used to be a doctor.  He leaves the field and saves the girl, who happened to be choking on a hot dog.  Then Mark turns to the field and says “Where did all these baseball players come from?”  And that is what I call a “Field of Dreams” moment.

It is that moment when something happens that opens your eyes to something that was always there, you just didn’t see it.  For me, that moment was the death of my father in September, 2009.  Leading up to that moment I was still an unbeliever, I couldn’t see the baseball players.  After that moment, I suddenly could see the players.  My earthly father stepped out of my life, and I could somehow feel my Heavenly Father step in.  I can’t explain it, but that’s how it felt.  One minute there was no God, the next minute it was so plainly obvious to me that there was a God that I couldn’t believe that others couldn’t see it (ok, it wasn’t actually a minute, but it happened pretty quick).  And my life has never been the same since.

Now, if that happened to me, which I honestly never thought it would, then it can happen to anyone.  God can do amazing things.  I know, I’ve seen it.  All we need to do is pray, God will do the heavy lifting.  So, during this Lenten season,  I know that I will make a point to pray for Bill Maher, and others like him, that they may one day see what they have been missing out on.  I know for a fact that the Lord can reach anyone, and I know it because He was able to get into my heart.  Five years ago I would have told you that was impossible, now I couldn’t imagine life any other way.  I just pray that one day I will hear others say “Hey, where did all these baseball players come from?”


Category: Conversion
  • Kevin says:

    Great post, Matt!

    March 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm
    • Matt says:

      Thanks Kevin! Maybe we could get Bill Maher to come to a CRHP weekend?

      March 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm
  • Kevin says:

    You just never know who might be changed by a CRHP weekend, other retreat, RCIA class or other event.

    March 8, 2012 at 9:28 pm

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