I used to play softball growing up. I wasn’t much good when I started out playing. I had a friend who played softball and she invited me to join her team. Why I joined is a mystery to this day. I think I must’ve been the coach’s worst nightmare! Imagine the classic kid who couldn’t play sports scenario and in that role – I fit perfectly.
Practices were torture for me! Coach would hit the ball and I would stumble and bumble my way to catch a slowly rolling ball across the field. Batting? I was without dispute the team’s very worst batter. In fact, I was indisputably the very worst player in the league. But I kept on trying and the coach had confidence in me even though I had no confidence in myself.
Practice after practice, game after game, I kept trying. Slowly the coach allowed me to play in the game; I didn’t play when we were at a critical place but all the while when I played coach would say, “Lea! You can do it!” And time after time, I would drop the ball or strike out at bat. BUT, with practice, I slowly began to catch the balls and hit the pitches. I started to play in the game a bit more.
The day came when, like in a Hollywood movie, I was in right field and a ball was hit high into the air. As if in slow motion, I opened my glove and ran in the direction where the ball was coming down and by some miracle, I caught it! What a huge boost to my confidence! The crowds cheered for in catching that ball it made the third out for the opposing team and the game ended. From thereI hit my stride and began to play shortstop, hit line drives, and even slide into the bases as if I had been playing all my life. By the end of the season I was voted the “most improved player.”
This year I’m determined to “hit my stride” once again and find that confidence that somehow gets depleted with the processes of life’s normal struggles of finance, health, children, and work. During our first-of-year fast I’ve been on the playing field, practicing. The Coach has been hitting the ball my way and giving me pointers on how to hit the pitch and not strike out. Somewhere along this way, I’ve started to get better and once again Coach has sent me to my position. The ball has been hit, I’m out in the field again with my glove outstretched – I’m ready to catch the ball.
Romans 11:29 NCV “God never changes his mind about the people he calls and the things he gives them.”