What do I do?

It was the bottom of the last inning, in what had become a very competitive matchup between two girls’ youth softball teams. The score was tied six to six. It was our opponent’s turn to bat. If they scored, our team would inevitably lose the game. If not, we had another opportunity to hit, which meant the chance to win our very first game.

Their first player hit the ball and got a base hit. Their second batter came up to bat. She hit a long ball which made its way to the outfield. One of our players ran after the ball, picked it up and ran toward the infield. Everyone held their breath, waiting to see what she would do next. Would she throw the ball to second base? Would she run in and try to tag the runner? Would she throw the ball back to the pitcher and therefore, stop the play, forcing all runners to halt at their bases? With great hesitation, she stopped right where the grass met the dirt and held the ball in her glove. In both fear and uncertainty, our inexperienced player froze.

Deafening shouts erupted from all corners of the ball field. Everyone, young and old, started screaming. Our opponent’s coaches shouted at their players to run, taking advantage of the situation to advance their base position and hopefully score. Our fans were yelling for this beginning, first-time softball player to throw the ball. My husband, the head coach was shouting as urgently as he could, waving his arms, in a frantic attempt to get her attention. Her gaze spanned from one side of the field to the other, but she still held the ball. In desperation, our player sought out assistance from her fellow teammate, our daughter, and asked, “What do I do?” To which our daughter responded, “I don’t know. I’m not the coach!” Finally, after finding and fixing her eyes on her coach, she was able to block out the noise and was able to focus on his instructions in that moment. Consequently, she threw the ball in to the pitcher. Time was called and the play had been stopped. Unfortunately, the injury had already been done. In that brief moment, our chance of earning the win had slipped away.

John 10:3-5 – “…the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice…”

At times in life, we are all exactly like this young softball player. Competing in the game of life, situations and circumstances beyond our control are hit right at us when we least expect it. In fear and uncertainty, sometimes we freeze and our faith seems to fade. Various voices seem to deafen us with their shouts in our ears attempting to tell us what to do, where to turn. It’s only when we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, that we see clearly what we are supposed to do. It’s only when we focus on listening to the voice of our Shepherd that we hear and know which way to go. It’s only when we heed the wise counsel of other believers that we are able to gaze into the loving eyes of our Helper, our Head Coach, and find our answers.

Isaiah 30:21 – “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Sometimes the damage has already been done. That’s okay. Just like our team gets another chance to try again in the next game, we do too, despite the opposing voices telling us we’ll never win. We have a merciful Father who revels in second chances and His voice tells us a different story. We don’t have to dwell on the past, but look with hope to all that’s promised in our future. As the lyrics of a Casting Crowns song reminds us, “Out of all the voices calling out to us, let’s choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth.”

Michele Fort is the wife to an amazing husband of nearly thirteen years and mother to two delightful daughters. Though once an elementary school teacher, she presently serves as the home manager and calendar keeper of all the details of her family’s life. In her spare time, she enjoys running, working out, reading, teaching, shopping for a great deal, and spending quality time with her family and friends. Most of all, she cherishes the spontaneous, teachable, God-given moments which occur in the midst of everyday situations in her everyday life.

3 Responses to What do I do?
  1. Jayme Bray
    May 13, 2011 | 9:57 am

    Awesome job, Michele!!! I love the lessons He teaches us through our children! Thank you for using your gift to write this in such an inspiring way!! So happy for you and proud to call you my friend!

  2. Leigh
    May 13, 2011 | 8:40 pm

    Keep’em coming girl! Such encouraging truth! Thanks for blessing us by sharing!

  3. Kimberly
    May 15, 2011 | 1:56 pm

    Great devotion! I have felt like that little girl so many times in my life…fearful and uncertain. So thankful we can turn to the Lord for wisdom, encouragement, and direction. AND so thankful for the fact He is indeed a God of second chances. 🙂