Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wiffle Ball and Other Life Lessons

I did it. I played wiffle ball.

Yes, it IS a big deal. People play wiffle ball everyday - but I don't. In fact, I have managed to get through 21 years of living without subjecting myself that particular game. Actually, I have spent the last 21 years avoiding any game or situation with a large possibility of looking stupid, making mistakes, or general humiliation of any kind. And Wiffle Ball is a game where the primary purpose is to hit a ball a couple inches wide, with a "bat" that has the circumference of about a nickel, and if you actually manage to succeed at this, you then have to run faster than the opposing team can catch.

Insecure? Me? Maybe.

But working with a bunch of teenagers can cause you to do surprising things however, and after spotting the "cool" kids sitting on the wall, refusing to play all for the sake of not looking "stupid" it suddenly occurred to me that I did not want to be a "cool" kid sitting on the edge of life! So, against my better judgement, I played.

I wish this was one of those Hollywood stories where I tell you that I hit a home run, scored the winning run, or at least saved myself from acute embarrassment. If that is what you are waiting for, you are about to be sorely disappointed. If that's what you would like to think happened, you have my permission to go ahead and leave with nice happy vision of my success in your head. I need all the help I can get. In actuality, I was pretty awful. You think I'm exaggerating? I have at least 30 witnesses that can attest to the fact that, at one point, I actually batted the ball into my own head. Yep. Absolutely disgraceful. Here's the thing though: I had so much fun! Our team won 13-1 (without my help, obviously, but I still take part in the victory), and it was amazing to simply let go and play a game!

Now, I realize I'm probably taking this wiffle ball analogy a little deep. It is, after all, just a game. Life is a lot more than a game. But is it really? Beyond the real reasons we're here, our purpose, our mission to live the life God has for us, isn't the rest about getting up every morning and choosing to get out of bed and step up to the plate of life (I know, it's so very very corny), even at the risk of looking like a complete idiot. And isn't that kind of what the big stuff is about too? I know it is to me. I am completely ashamed at how many hours of my day are consumed with thoughts designed to keep me saying the right things, doing the right things, being the right person. And when I say "right" I don't really mean "right." All I really mean is cool.

Well, I am done. Done being the "cool" kid on the wall, and ready to be the moron risking personal safety and the good opinion of all to have a little fun, and maybe, just once in awhile, actually score.

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