Thursday, September 29, 2016

On Curveballs

My younger son is a baseball player.  I've watched him play since he was in preschool.  Unfortunately, my baseball knowledge has not grown at the rate of his skill, but still I know a thing or two.  And I still get nervous every single time he’s up to bat even though he has a great batting average.  The thing I dread the most in those moments is a great curve ball.  I hate those things.

The thing about curve balls is that the untrained eye (aka, mine) can’t see them coming.  All I see is a perfect and not-to-fast ball coming straight down the pike.  He’s gonna kill this ball!  It’s just what we hoped for today.  It gets close.  He begins his swing.  He’s about the knock it out the park!  Then it happens...the curve.  Are you kidding me?  The stupid ball just drops as the batter swings over it.  Strike!

Your day begins as they always do.  It’s going along nicely, given that most days in my house look like a Wylie Coyote and Roadrunner episode.  You know what to expect.  You are prepared for the norm.  And let’s face it, the “norm” is hard enough some days.  But then it happens...the curve ball.  It’s the phone call, the accident, the regular doctor visit gone wrong, the natural event that gets out of hand, the news you were not expecting today.  And it levels you.  What?!  You sit stunned.  You did not see this coming.  Dang curve balls!

You are thrown completely out of kilter.  You begin to question everything.  How did this happen?  Why did this happen?  Am I being punished?  What is really important?  What do I truly need and what can I live without?  Who am I and what am I supposed to be doing?  Where was God when this happened?  And if He’s really around, is He really big enough to fix this?  What do I believe in enough to act on...or even on?  The questions are hard, but you have to allow them.  And you absolutely must take the time to answer them.  They may be the reason you are here.

All the while, you are waiting.  Anyone can tell you...the waiting is the worst.  What is going to happen?  How will this end?  And I’ll give you a hint… the answers you found in your initial questioning are crucial here.  It takes faith to withstand the waiting.  It takes a really strong faith to thrive in the waiting.  When you don’t have any answers, it sure helps to at least know the One who does have them.  You may find that just resting with Him is enough to keep you going.

The good news is that if you’re still standing there, then you’re still in the game.  There is a Next, and it is coming … even if it’s taking its time.  This curve ball may have changed your life forever in some way...or many ways.  Or who knows, tomorrow, next week or in a couple months, life may return to “normal”.  But for now it is enough to know that you’re still in the game.  Now is the time to stand and play because another pitch IS coming.  You have to pull it together.  Focus.  Who knows, you just may hit it out of the park.

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