Thursday, August 16, 2012

Crossed Paths, Being Stretched, Baseball, and God

I've mentioned Katie Davis before: the young woman who came from a well-to-do family in the USA who is now living in Uganda and has adopted (I think) 14 girls who had no families. She is called Mommie by many, and Aunty Kate by many others. I admire what she is doing there, personally, and through her organization, Amazima (see the links in my side-bar.) But I also worry about her.

Uganda is, in many ways, a very messed-up place. And someday, Katie may cross paths with the wrong neglectful father, or crazy man, or misguided person, who may just dislike what she is doing enough to kill her. And she will be a martyr for love. Pray for her, and others like her.

Fr. Z has an interesting piece comparing the spiritual life with pitching in Baseball, aiming for the perfect game, and how every moment is a new opportunity to change the way things are going...

I am reminded of the chapter in George Will’s great book Men At Work: The Craft Of Baseball (I have a signed edition) in which he asks pitcher Orel Hershiser, “So what’s your goal when you go to the mound? A no-hitter?” Hershiser responds:

“No … A perfect game. If they get a hit, I am throwing a one-hitter. If they get a walk, it’s my last walk. I deal with perfection to the point that is logical to conceive it. History is history, the future is perfect.” (See the rest here.)

On another note, many are suffering, worrying, searching, wondering if they have a safety net, if they should have a safety net, wondering where is God? When is he going to intervene? As to intervention, Katie Davis has said that she often worries about all the children she can't help, but hears God telling her, it is enough to help the one he puts in her path. (Of course, that one could be one a day, or one a week, we don't know until we cross their path, but, that One is enough - who knows who God might call to help the others.)

But the other side of it is that God likes to wait until the last possible moment. He likes to stretch us, to show US how far we can go without breaking. He knows, of course, but he wants us to know. And so, he stretches our faith, our trust, our perseverance, sort of like a physical trainer who gets you to push up the weights one more time, or to run just a second faster, or do one more lap. It strengthens us.

But it also reassures us that our Father will not abandon us if we trust in Him, even when WE abandon him. If we reach out our hand, even if he seems to delay, he will not fail to take our hand and lift us up. We just have to keep the hand out there.

Sometimes, a safety net is a sign of a failure to trust God. Not always, but sometimes. And when we work without a safety net, when we really do our best AND rely fully on God, he may let us fall now and then. He may let us get bruised a little, and get discouraged a little, and feel almost about to give up.

But if we don't give up, if we keep trusting, if we keep that imploring hand reaching out there, he will grasp it and lift us up, or direct our path to cross with someone else he has directed to help us, and maybe even someone WE are to help.

No comments: