I played softball as a kid. But, not for long.
I remember a hot, summer day and a game by the river. The dust rose as cleats shuffled out to take their places firmly planted in the red, clay Carolina soil. I took my spot just over the left shoulder of the pitcher at second base. I hunkered down as the first batter approached the plate. It was good for me to play close to the action because of my tendency to be easily distracted.
The crack of the bat sent a grounder my way and I positioned myself for an easy grounder. All was week, until my grounder met a jagged rock from the Carolina clay. The ball picked up speed and whirred just over my strategically placed Rawlings mitt. Stopped in acceleration by one intensely freckled nose. I stood stunned, not sure what to do next. The crowd gasped and my teammates stood frozen. By that time, the intense pain began and I felt the first trickle of blood drop on my clean game day jersey. My knees buckled and I went face down in the dirt.
Humiliated, hurt and dirty, I left the game.
I quit the next week.
I'm back in the dugout today. But, not the one that lines a softball field. No, I'm on the sidelines of life today. I used to be on the field looking good in my uniform, playing my position well. Until life threw me a curve ball and I replayed the scenario that is part of a childhood memory. Only, the wounds were deeper, the humiliation stronger, the reputation soiled.
So, my job is to wait. On the sidelines. And watch.
Cheer for you as you play your position. Pray that the grounder won't get you.
But, in case it does, I'm the one who understands. The one who walks alongside. And the one that will not let you quit. You can rest, recover, heal. But, you aren't allowed to quit.
It will take more than random rocks in the Carolina soil to take us out.
God is at work. Don't quit before He is done.