I’m not into baseball. Never really have been. Of course, when I was younger I had the fascination all boys have with baseball. Even been to a few baseball games. I’ve actually been to more MLB games than I have NFL games which is real strange because I like football way more than I do baseball. I understand the strategy to some degree. And I understand baseball is a difficult game to play. Andy Stanley speaks about the difficulty in hitting a fast ball thrown by a pitcher in his book 7 Practices of Effective Ministry. Suffice it to say, the odds are against the batter.
In reality, we all play baseball in some form in our lives. Life has a habit of throwing us curve balls.
When a pitcher throws a curve ball, they want to the batter to think the ball is going to one place instead of where it is really going. In midair the ball will change directions, alter its trajectory and go somewhere unintended. Curve balls are meant o confuse and overwhelm the batter. Curve balls thrown by the pitcher in an effort to make the batter miss and strike them out.
I started to ask, ‘has life ever thrown you a curve ball?’ but decided the question was silly. If you have ever breathed, you have had a curve ball thrown at you. Life has a habit of throwing curve balls in an effort to make us miss and confuse us.
I am thinking about this today, because it occurs to me I have experienced another curve ball recently. I am standing at home plate realizing the ball just flew past me because it was not where I expected it to be. The trajectory, the flight path had been altered mid-flight.
I could, I suppose, muse and wonder the why of the curve ball. I could attempt to understand the lesson or meaning behind the curve ball. I could theorize what growth this curve ball is meant to inspire within me. I could ask God how could he let this curve ball be thrown at me.
But I’m not.
I would rather share the feelings this curve ball has elicited within my heart and soul. Not to resolve anything. Not to find any answers to any dilemma. But to express how I am feeling so I feel better. There is real power and freedom in expressing how we feel at any given moment.
I feel hurt. No, i feel sad. I feel sad become it feels as though something was taken away from me. I am sad because my heart is telling me there is no justice in this, but my brain is trying to make me understand this is how life works. I feel sad because others in my family are experiencing great pain and discomfort because of this curve ball. It makes me sad to watch family suffer.
I feel like something was taken away from. I feel as though there is a piece of me missing. A regular part of my day is now gone. A piece of me I had relied on daily is not there anymore. I have an emptiness where something very special, and important to me once resided.
I feel lost. I mean there are many times throughout each day I want to connect with this missing piece of my life via phone call, text, twitter, Facebook, youtube and many other ways I fueled my connection and now I can’t… and I’m not sure what to do. I haven’t lost meaning to my life, but I have lost something. Maybe it is more expressive to say I feel a sense of loss. That could be the best way to describe the whole conversation.
I feel loss. I feel something is missing. And I feel sad because of my loss and sense of missingness.
This feeling is not unique to me. I haven’t stumbled upon some experience none other has ever felt. I daresay, we have all felt a sense of loss in life. And it is likely that sense of loss came as a curve ball went zinging past us.
Where do we go from here? I am acknowledging my feelings as real and legitimate. And then I’m standing tall at home pate prepared for the next curve ball, hoping I can force it into a homerun instead of a strikeout.