As I’ve mentioned several times before, I played on an adult, competitive kickball team this past spring. I was recruited to this team because of my overwhelming athletic capabilities, obviously. Some of the core competencies that I bring to the table are central to kickball: you trip less than once for every ten paces of walking, you possess the capacity catch a ball, which in size is bigger than your head, and, with a running start, you can make several attempts at kicking the aforementioned oversized ball. Lured into the scenario with verbal portraits of a relaxed competition and engaging moments with little or no social constraint, I joined. Soon, however, there was an awakening to the truth of competition of kickball. Kickball is all about creativity. It begins long before the season when teams choose their organizational structure and, most importantly, their names. Naming a kickball team is an art form. I was introduced to several terms that I had never encountered before in the names of our competition. Names represent the fiber that makes up the team on which you play. Demographically kickball competition draws coeds in their twenties and thirties. The first team we played was named “The Cobra Chi” (a reference that our specific demographic immediately identifies). Our first challengers were imposing, needless to say. They were dressed in all black with yellow cobras imprinted on the front of their shirts. All of them were collegiate linebackers, even the females (which I found interesting, needless to say). We understood kickball to be a very relaxed competitive environment. Our team was rudely awaken from this dream in the second inning when our petite, female catcher was mowed down at the plate by one the said linebackers. Obviously, our team erupted in anger and hurled polite, yet appropriate, requests towards the other team. Several members of each team thought it would be good to increase their proximity, apparently to allow for better communication. It was tense, needless to say. In those moments, we learned that we had no idea what we were doing, but that we wanted to. Not only did we want to understand, but we wanted to do well at what we were doing. We wanted to win. The kickball season lasts ten games. We lost our first six and won our last four. It took several games to realize what we needed to know and improve on, then several games to learn our lessons and improve. We actually defeated several leading teams in our brief four-game winning streak. Worship is a little like kickball. There are moments when the holes of life become pits. They lie in front of us, and we are incapable and inept to overcome them. In those moments, the heart of a worshipper looks forward, knowing that we need Jesus. We are motivated to love Him and shower Him with affection because the only way we can make it is through Him. And God is faithful. Many of us have this testimony of God bringing us through and taking us over those pits. We look backwards in remembrance of what God has done with hearts overflowing with thanks and appreciation. The heart of a worshipper is always motivated by forward and past perspective, of holes covered and yet dug. Certainly the after-game-celebrations were fun when we had just achieved a victory. There was laughter and semi-instant replay. However, we still celebrated the defeats with fervor and vigor, because life’s really a lot more about where you’re going than where you are. So look forward to obstacles as motivation for your response to Jesus and backwards at the victories as further motivation, because, in the end, life really is much more about where you’re going than where you are.
Worship this week @FriendChurch:
Final Week of “This Beautiful Noise” / Sermon entitled “Making Racket”
Worship Leaders: Scott Donaldson & Kathy Tetreault