I’m terrible at sports. Any sport. Not athletic at all. In P.E. at school, always last to be picked for a team. Seriously. Because I had this reputation which was quite accurate: I was a liability to a winning game. Yes, I’m gifted in a few other areas, but definitely not here.
So. There’s this thing I’ve been trying really hard to do for a long time. A sport of sorts. And we’ve already established that I’m, well, negatively gifted at sports.
It’s kind of like a game of catch. Picture in your mind a couple of boys, or a dad and son, coach and player, or two teammates playing catch. They have their ball glove on one hand, throw with the other, and the receiving party tries to catch the ball in their glove. I’ve probably got the terminology all wrong, but you understand that I don’t know sports and we are not friends. But you get the idea.
For all my sports minded limitations, I’ve gotten pretty good at throwing over the years. I work hard to prepare when I know a game is coming up, and I practice. I’m a reliable team player. You can count on me to give it my very best.
But there is a problem. And it’s gotten worse and worse, until I’m exhausted and frustrated and quitting is tempting. You see, I find myself doing all this added exercise. I throw the ball, then I run to wherever it landed and pick it up and run back, then I throw it again. Where is my partner who is supposed to catch the ball, or at the very least go pick it up and throw it back to me? Oh, he’s there all right. He looks the part, baseball cap on, ball glove in hand. But he stands like a soldier at attention, as still as a statue. He makes no move toward catching the ball. Nothing. Nada. And he has this uncomprehending look on his face, like he has no clue what I’m doing or why. So I try my best to help him understand, to encourage him, to “coach” him.
He throws up his hands and tells me that baseball no longer exists and he has no reference for how to play the game, and besides that, it makes absolutely no sense. He says this in a very matter of fact way, because it’s his reality.
Then he tries to show me his game and explain how it is played. That sounds like a great idea, except when he begins to talk about his game he is no longer speaking English, but a completely unintelligible language. I don’t understand at all. So I do the only thing I know to do. I throw the ball again, and he stands there like a statue again, and I run to where it landed and pick it up and run back, again. And I’m out of breath, and more exhausted, and nothing has changed. Again. By now, he’s made it clear several times that if I insist on throwing the ball I should just throw it once ever so often instead of trying to have a whole game of catch, whatever that is, because he has things to do, and this is not an enjoyable pastime, but torturous.
My ball and glove are now put up. Because at this point, I’m just too weary and worn to find the energy to try again. I gave some thought to putting the ball and glove in the deepest most inaccessible corner of the closet. But no, I can’t hide this away. It is far too important. So it sits in my room, an integral, though mismatched, part of the décor. It’s hard to look at, because I envision all I wish was but is not. But it also serves as a reminder that I must cling to what could be. Cling to the God who knows and sees, and loves and comforts, even when I don’t understand or feel His assurance. And I must hope and pray, and I will always love. Because it’s who I am and what I do. There is no other option, and I would not really want one. So I wait and look upon the symbol of my journey and the wealth of meaning behind it.
Ps 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
1 Pet 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.