Monday, May 24, 2010

Background Noise

Both of our girls play softball and, as a result, much of our time is spent at a ball field. This serves as your warning that this may be the first of many stories from the bleachers of my life! Saturday we were at Brenna’s game - go there with me for just a minute.

There is a little girl on her team that is a very athletic, talented player, who is very capable of hitting the ball and doing it well. Our last game wasn’t her best from a batting standpoint and this had upset her, so she was under increased pressure to do well. She comes up for her turn at bat and steps into the batter’s box extra eager to hit the ball. The people in the stands were just as eager. Immediately as she took her place, we all began to say things to her to encourage her. “You can do it!” Then, in addition, everyone is giving her pointers, myself included. “Just make contact”, “Aim for the top of the ball”, “Scoot back toward the catcher”, “Just Relax” (that’s hilarious considering she’s 8 and there’s 30 adults shouting at her!), “Keep your head in there”, “Don’t drop your shoulder”, “Get your bat back”, “Just watch the ball hit your bat”. I could list many more, but I’m sure you can hear it all in your head now. The voices are flying around, and she’s trying to focus. Strike 1. The advice repeats, she adjusts her helmet and sets back up. Strike 2. More advice from the stands, she looks toward the voices in desperation, almost tearful, the last thing she wants to do is strike out. The coach had been trying to teach her from the pitchers mound, but all of the external noise was making it hard for her to concentrate and understand what he wanted her to do. This was her last chance. In an effort to help, the coach walks to her from the pitching machine to speak directly to her. He turns their backs to the stands, puts his arm around her shoulder, shielding her from everything else. He nudges her close to him so that she can hear him, and bends down level with her ear. His voice travels to her from over her shoulder. She finally can hear him and we can see her nod her little head in that helmet that seems so big. She understands what he’s telling her now!

He walks back to his spot. She positions herself to take a swing, focused intently on the coach this time, it was as if the crowd wasn’t even audible to her. The ball is released. It’s coming toward her, she sees it. She knows what to do. She swings.

She hits.

How many times is life like that for us? We have so many voices giving us advice, telling us what to do, and often, just like in the stands, those giving us advice, have never played the game we are in. There are so many things shouting at us from this world, it’s hard to decide when to listen and which one to listen to. All of the advice sounds like it will work, but that’s not always the case. The voices may mean well, just like the parents and grandparents in the stands, but they may mislead us. There is only one voice to listen to and that’s the Coach, our Lord. He knows exactly what to tell us and he will be glad to give us the exact instruction we need.

     Isaiah 30:20-21 “Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. And your ears will hear a word behind you. ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”

Father, as I approach my “at bat” on this day, I realize there will be many suggestions and recommendations from this world and those around me about how to live my life. Some of the advice will actually be spoken, but some unspoken. I pray, God, that when all of the noise is so loud and I am torn about what to do, that I would first call You from the pitchers mound so that I can hear exactly what You are speaking to me. You promise in these verses that my eyes will behold my Teacher and that my ears will hear you behind me, just as you’re over my shoulder, whispering in my ear telling me what to do. “This is the way, walk in it”! I pray, dear Jesus, that today, would be a grand slam for Your kingdom and that you would be praised.

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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  1. What an illustration! This speaks strongly to me, as one of the voices as well, and as one who just needs to listen to the coach...thank you for sharing these life lessons...thank you for making me aware, I have been blessed

  2. Amy, I mentioned you and this post in my blog Thanks for such an inspiring post!



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