My Faith

Play hard, love well

Does anyone get caught up in the path to perfection? So many times I have thought, “if I can’t be the best I might as well give up.” It’s my natural tendency. If someone is better than me, I don’t want to try. Like sometimes I literally get mad at the person who is better than me. Like it’s their fault they have the skill set they have.

It’s funny thinking about it because while I’m good at some things, I’m ok at others, I’m probably not the best at anything. I’m always going to meet someone who is better than me. Always. So does that mean I do nothing? I hope not.

God never called us to perfection. He gave us all different gifts and different strengths and different weaknesses. We were called to work together to do the best we can for Him. He didn’t call us to one up each other. He called us to be the best us we can be.

I remember growing up I loved softball. I wasn’t the best ever, but I was pretty good at it. For someone who isn’t athletically inclined, it was my sport. You didn’t have to run that fast or far as long as you learned to hit hard and accurately. I mean hit it over the fence, and you can basically walk the bases. Hit to the fence and you can jog. (Granted if you run faster you get more bases). If you didn’t hit hard, you had to run fast. So I learned to hit hard because if it required running fast, I was already in trouble.

(One of the highlights of my life was at church camp. We were on teams and the boys always teased the girls. You know “move in; they can’t hit.” My brother was on the other team. I went up to bat and he yells, “y’all better move back; she can hit!” It was better than making all-stars for my brother to acknowledge my skill, and I hit it even harder just to not prove him wrong.)

I also played a position that didn’t really require much running. I was a pitcher. I pitched the ball, and for the most part what happens when the ball goes soaring over my head is up to my people. We had to rely on each other to do our parts in order to be successful. No one person could ever be fast enough to play softball by themselves. There’s too much ground to cover.

I think Christianity is kind of like that. There’s so much ground to cover….so many seeds to sow. So much to do. Even if I was the best ever, I couldn’t do it all. I can only do what I can do and then rely on the next person to take over. Maybe I plant a seed, but someone else needs to water it and someone else harvest. Maybe I get to do it all sometimes.

Pitchers have relief positions, you know somewhere to play when you’re out of good pitches or they want to train someone else up. I played catcher for a while before my incredible dislocating knees gave up that activity. Then I played some bases and even outfield on occasion. (Then there was that all-star season where I was relegated to right field as punishment but that story is for another time). I could play all those positions (except short stop because you have to be a runner and well….). I was ok at all those places, but I was best as pitcher. Other people were best in those places. That’s how a team works.

I think if we quit competing so much with each other and each play our part on the team, maybe the game of life will come out better in the end. I may not be the “nurse of the year” but I can do good work today.

And we need the other players. Sometimes we need them to take over when we cannot. Maybe today isn’t going well and I need someone to come along side me and pitch for me for a while in life. To let me know it’s gonna be ok. That it’s a bad day not a bad life. These are the people that remind me I don’t have to have it all together always. They are the ones who pick up my slack when I’m out of stream (or never had steam to begin with). I try to do the same for them.

I mean back to the softball analogy, there were days where I couldn’t pitch a strike to save my life. Those days didn’t make me a bad pitcher. I was still a good pitcher. I just had a bad day. And luckily there was usually someone who wasn’t having a bad day who could take over and send me to my relief position until next time when I was gonna be better.

Find your people. We all need them. Find your team who will help you survive the game of life. If you don’t like your team, you’re not gonna enjoy the game. I tried to play the game of life alone for a while. Let me tell ya, it’s more fun when you find your people. And when you find your people, love them well. Use your talents and skills to make their lives better the same way they use theirs to improve your life. Do life together. God meant for it to be that way. If Jesus needed his people when he was on Earth, why do you think you don’t need people??

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