Forest for the Trees

So, my crazy friend Bryan gave me perspective.  Purely by accident on his part, right, Bry?

His family, always into baseball as the family sport, has slide reels of him hitting the baseball as young as four-years-old.  I read on his post-birthday-blog (http://bryanyounger.wordpress.com/) that in his first official game he hit the ball and ran with all his might, but was put out at first.  He cried and the coach comforted him.  The next time he went to bat, the same thing happened.  He cried and got more comfort.

What he didn’t realize was that he had driven in 4 runs on his two at-bats.  Still, when he “got out,” he cried.  Bryan could hit, he could catch, he could throw.  And he could drive in runs, advancing his team, helping bring victory.  But all he could see was his failure to be safe at first.

Stuck in the middle.

I am pretty sure the “enemy assignment” against my life, being a performance-oriented-slave-to-the-need-to-achieve type I seem to be, has just been to make sure I can never quite check all the things I want to off my list, nor see the end for the middle (the forest for the trees), nor feel like I completely did what I set out to do.  I constantly judge my efforts to have missed the mark.   In almost everything I do or am.  In spite of so much goodness and favor, I have lists filling volumes of all the ways I did it wrong, missed the mark, disappointed, failed, folded and fizzled.  I have a detailed record of my own wrongs and letters of apology to my most treasured ones of my carelessness, my meanness, my complete ineptitude at love and life and following Jesus in a way that at all reflects Him.  I always say anyone but God would have thrown me on the scrap pile by now, but surprisingly, I am still surrounded my loving, forgiving people.  Meanwhile, I remain certain I will botch it fully and finally.

But is it really over before the fat lady sings?  Has it really been “a fail,” the current “in” phrase –  any of it or all of it?  Have I been the worst at everything, the person whose life has the least purpose, the person who never lived up to her God-given potential, am I the only non-home-run hitter?

Baseball Bats by Stormie Rhoades

I liked the phrase I heard a few years ago, “It is never too late to become the person you might have been.”  And I have often encouraged young mommies and my friends with, “It is never too late to be the family you were meant to be,” and while I wholly believe it, I somehow tend towards seeing myself getting tagged out at first base and I am immediately overwhelmed, overcome, really, with a deep sense of being the world’s all-time most  substantial disappointment.  I guess if you are going to be awful, you may as well do it really well…

Wait for it.  WAIT FOR IT.

But deep down, I know I am just somewhere in the middle – like everyone reading this.  Proverbs 24 tells us that even when the righteous falls seven times (or gets thrown out at first base repeatedly), they get back up and keep going – you can’t keep them down.  I love the Word of the LORD to Habakkuk, which I would like to re-phrase here, from 2.2-3.  God is like,

Write this.  Write it down and make it plain {the vision – the point, THE thing that it is all about at the end}.

Write it in a way that when you read it, it will energize you and feed your soul for the journey; so well put that it will give you the life and vitality and gusto to get all the way {running like a banshee} to the desired end (starting line to finish line, point A to point B, from once upon a time to forevermore).  So you won’t just fizzle out along the way (in the middle somewhere).  Know the vision inside and out, for crying out loud.

Because those deep desires in your heart?  That thing planted deep {a covenant marriage that sizzles hot to the end, children who live to praise Jesus and serve Him wholeheartedly, grandchildren who rise up as men and women of God as the world continues its meaningless descent into godless madness;  the rich opportunity to, as a friend of the Bridegroom, help get the Bride ready, the chance to feed the hungry and clothe the poor, be a blessing and live in the favor of God – bringing Him joy, ETC}, these things long to come to pass, they want to come to fruition with a deep ache (the whole creation is groaning for the completion of our adoption to sonship, so says Romans 8).

Watch and wait.  Watch for it and don’t give up.  The vision, the deep thing, speaks of the end.  It is the whole goal, the final glory of it all.  It is the fulfillment of the goodness of the LORD in our lives.  It is what will stand when the dust has settled.

If it seems like it is slow in coming, wait for it.  Wait :: lean forward in hopeful expectation, watching and anticipating.  Instead of  Are we there yet? ~ What’s next, Father?

It may seem late.  It may seem long.  But the end will be good and just as God has planned!

Yes, wait.  It will surely come to pass.

Thanks, Bry.  For the encouragement.

More at-bats to come.  Let’s just keep swinging.

 

 

5 thoughts on “Forest for the Trees

  1. Wow, I needed to hear that today and I need to read it a few dozen more times to soak in all that you packed into that wonderful post. Thanks Jeanie!!

  2. Just told Joe last night that I need to stop always looking at things the way I do. I am always feeling unsatisfied at what I got done because I focus on what I didn’t get done. Or I’ll think about yesterday, while my current day is not going so well, and say things like, “Yesterday by this time…I had accomplished this…” and then I can’t even enjoy the moment because I am dwelling on how much less I have done than I had done the day before. Not sure I am making sense but I loved this post…I think because we all might just feel like this and just can’t put it in to words like you can.

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