Light and Momentary, Buckeye Softball, and Waiting

I have been consumed lately by waiting.

Is there something consuming you?

For 2.5 years I have been waiting for resolution to a particular challenge. Whether that is a “long” wait is a matter of perspective. Maybe you have waited longer for something. Maybe you can’t imagine waiting that long for anything.

One day I will have an entire book to write about this situation. But, for now, suffice it to say this is a financial matter that has strapped me and several people close to me.

These words come to mind often: For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Last Saturday was the opening of the Big Ten softball season. My favorite team has been waiting for this day since May 14, 2011, when they finished the season at 3-17 in league play. The 2011 season was frustrating and heartbreaking for many reasons. The tourney season has been successful – but this is what the team has been anticipating most. Dominating the Big Ten and going to the post-season is what will make their comeback complete.

I am anticipating a comeback as well. The first two years of my journey have been difficult, to say the least. Financial hardships, mental strain, fighting off fear, humbling myself to accept help.

The last six months have been completely consuming. Truly. Every aspect of my life, every relationship, everything I do has been under the control of a resolution that has been promised but not yet delivered. “Tomorrow” and “soon” are words that no longer have meaning to me. Initially, I had to break many plans…then I quit making plans altogether. I declined invitations to parties, weddings, showers. I missed basketball games, movies, and dinners with friends.

Light and momentary. Light and momentary.

The situation has become too complicated to explain, and naysayers are not what I need, so my interactions recently have been limited to either folks who stand with me in believing this will resolve in my favor, or those who know nothing about it and are not affected in any way. This has made life stressful and lonely.

Light and momentary. Light and momentary.

Have you had a period of waiting with just a couple friends at your side? Or maybe alone, just you and God?

I missed the B1G season opener Saturday in Columbus. Just as I missed every tourney, despite having plans to attend at least three. It is impossible to list every event I have missed, due either to lack of funds or to waiting at home for a promised call that has fallen through. Missed opportunities, broken promises, strained relationships.

Light and momentary. Light and momentary.

Have you ever been told something would happen on a certain day, then it doesn’t? Have you had that happen again and again for 6 months running? Then you know how I feel. Hopes rise and fall. You see a light at the end, then a door slams or the tunnel changes direction. It is maddening and exhausting.

Light and momentary. Light and momentary.

There have, of course, been many lessons. It is good to learn the difference between “want” and “need” and between “uncomfortable” and “desperate.”

It is even better to learn how to completely surrender to God. I thought I had learned that. I was wrong. It has only been in the past 6 months I have been able to say, “Okay, God – I don’t understand and I want to be SCARED out of my mind…but I know you love me more than I can imagine and won’t let me go.”

There have been great lessons in humility. Also lessons in being gentle with others, as I realize I don’t know their travails any more than they know mine. But it has still been difficult.

Light and momentary. Light and momentary.

The Buckeyes played well in the first game on Saturday, and won in extra innings. Timely hits, one harmless error, only 2 runners left on base in scoring position. Game two was a different story. Three errors leading to runs, 8 runners left in scoring position, 4-1 loss.

In a recent interview, Vanessa Spears, Buckeye left fielder – who, by the way, covers an amazing amount of ground – said one of the important things Coach Linda Kalafatis teaches is that no single game defines them as a team or as individual players.

It is an important lesson in softball and in life. No at-bat, no error, no game, not even a whole season, can adequately define a team or a person. You can be shaped and made better…but not necessarily defined or defeated.

And so it is in life. This season of my life could have destroyed me. Every morning when a new day is tossed my way, I could stand with the bat on my shoulder and watch it go by, leaving the outcome to someone else. There have certainly been many errors on my part – some that allowed my opponents to gain. I have allowed opportunities to pass by, left runners in scoring position so to speak. And I could have allowed this to define me, to defeat me, to alter my future.

Instead, after much practice, I have learned to repeat this phrase that frees me:

Light and momentary. Light and momentary.

How about you?

What do you have that looks menacing and life-changing? What if you learned to repeat:

Light and momentary. Light and momentary.

What if you really believed it?

The Buckeyes are back in action on Wednesday for a doubleheader. I hope to be there.

It will be a new day, new inning, new at bat for all of us.

Maybe you can start a new game as well?

We will talk again soon.

BP 🙂