Curve Balls and Courage
What do you do when life throws you curve balls? Because it will.
One moment you will be hitting the balls out of the park and the next, life will slam into you, knocking you over, stealing your breath away.
It is happening all around me right now. Friends have lost loved ones in the most difficult of ways, too soon and without the opportunity to say the final goodbye. Others have received the diagnosis they prayed would never come. Jobs have been lost. Financial insecurity is prevalent. Feelings of failure, inadequacy and just-not-good-enough messages show up in my newsfeed and in my inbox. Depression and anxiety are met at every turn.
So what are we to do? We can’t plan for curve balls. They will come at us unexpectedly, abruptly, with no warning.
As much as we try to control our lives and build them according to the blueprint we have established in our own minds, curve balls will come. They will break windows and our best laid plans will topple over. We will be left to rebuild.
It all seems so hopeless, unless our hope is not bound to this life. If our hope and our trust go beyond this life and the ever changing nature of the here and now, we can find courage to meet these curve balls without being bowled over.
If we are to have courage to meet the curve balls that life will inevitably throw at us, we must be building our hope and our trust in the times of security. But I would submit to you that it is those very curve balls that can leave us devastated that also teach us to trust and to hope in deeper ways than we would have thought possible.
On a recent trip to Pennsylvania, I stopped by my Daddy’s grave. I mourned the loss of him and I rejoiced knowing that he is Home. After the kids and I got back into our minivan, our GPS took us over a mountain, a road I had not traveled since my family last lived there, twenty two years ago. I took great delight in each hair pinned turn and my children laughed over every tickle bump until we got to a spot that is vivid in my memory. It was on that mountain where I first discovered the strength of my faith. Our valley had experienced a freak ice storm, but I had a violin lesson and my Daddy was determined to get me to it. We experienced no problems going up the sunny side of the mountain, but as soon as we crossed to the shaded side, we realized that it could be a treacherous trip down the mountain. We were creeping along when suddenly our little blue Chevette started to spin. And in that moment, I cried out “Help us, Jesus!”
Life threw us a curve ball and I met it with courage because my hope was in Jesus.
It has been 28 years of life since that moment and I have learned the importance of growing stronger in my faith, of allowing all difficulties, all hurts, all loss, all rejections, all frustrations, all heartaches to point me to Christ. When life throws me curve balls, I have learned to cry out “Help us, Jesus!”.
It has become the most joyous, the most secure way to live. I don’t have to have all the answers. I don’t have to be prepared for every possible scenario. I just simply need to trust in the One who has never failed me, the One who holds me securely through every earth shattering moment, the One who loves me beyond reason.
Courage is not about having everything figured out and being prepared for all of the heartaches that this life holds. It is trusting in Jesus, the only One who can cause us to stand when the curve balls of life come.