When my son was five, playing catch with him was a frustration. I would toss the ball and he would flail away as it passed by and scamper off to retrieve it, under bushes or other time wasters. With the ball in hand he would rush back to his position and fling his arms wildly, throwing the ball towards me, but never to me. He was so happy to play, for us to be together that we kept at it. I am glad we did.
Today we pick up the ball and glove and after a couple of warm up tosses to get old Dadís arm loose, we soon have a good game of catch. There is beauty in watching the ball arc up into the air and then down again, ending in the clear smack of leather as the glove wraps around it. Back and forth we play, tossing and catching, each doing their best to throw a good ball for the other. Now and again we make a bad toss or watch, mystified, the ball slip past our empty glove; and we laugh at the experience.
I recognize how the relationship of my son and I playing catch is similar to my relationship with Godís work. I am in awe of His patience with me missing the catches and throwing the wild pitches back at Him. But I so much love to play and to be in His presence and in that way I am exactly like my own son. How I wish that I had even the smallest measure of patience that God has shown to me.
I saw the image of a playing catch so clearly while working on a project God tossed at me. For a few months I had a desire to organize a concert for our church. I had a vision to gather the body together and celebrate being Christians with music and testimony. I tried to ignore the vision but the passion refused to go away. I tried to get other people involved but no one seemed interested. I just put it back in Godís hands and said ďIf you want me to do this, prove it.Ē Back the ball goes, up into the air and arching down; smack against the leather before returning to me with the word October written on it.
The desire to get this moving was even higher but I needed some help. I tossed my needs back to the Father, back they came filled. Ministering to one of the ladies in the church I felt a pull to tell her about the event. I thought she was going to hit the floor because, unknown to me, she had the same game of catch going. Moments after finding her, we found a third and together we formed a team. Up the ball goes, down into the glove.
We needed music, money, helpers and we had less than four weeks before October was over. I tossed the needs back to God and each time they came back filled. Every door we knocked on seemed open to us. We reached out to eight bands thinking we might get two. In just a few days our format was filled and I had to turn other bands away. Up the ball goes, down into the glove.
An outreach program we had never heard of before gave us $500, our church matched it. People came forward; equipment flowed to our open hands. Experts always seemed to be one step away from a problem. Up the ball goes, down into the glove. It is fun to play catch with God when you are looking for him to throw it back and for once you are throwing mostly straight balls to him.
I believe that your ability to serve depends on how big your image of God is. The more that you learn to trust and exercise your faith the larger He becomes to you. Some people around our team saw things like time, resources and funding as being larger than God. At times I felt the same as them. But I just kept tossing my needs back to Him and with each catch and return of the ball, God got a little larger for me. God is truly above all things, and beyond all measure.
Up the ball goes, down into the glove; walking in faith, held in his arms.