Bowling at the age of four is complicated on many levels.
The bowling balls are remarkably heavy. Holding them with the three-finger grip is close to impossible because little hands don’t pick anything up that way. Trying to throw the ball forward without it releasing behind you presents its own problems–especially for those positioned farther back.
John used to bowl in a league when he was younger. He was one of those people who had his own ball. He played one game where he had eight strikes in a row–best game ever. So when the grands needed help figuring out this game, he was thrilled to be part of the learning experience.
I’m familiar with bumpers put on the sides of the lane to keep the ball from going in the gutter with every throw. This place had a gizmo where you could place the ball at the top and direct it to roll toward the sweet spot. The kids loved it–it prevented most gutter balls and gave them the satisfaction of striking pins.
With all smaller people, the issue is the heft of the ball. A lighter ball doesn’t roll as quickly or have as much force for the pins to bounce off each other. It helped, but it wasn’t a perfect solution.
Don’t we all want a better solution for life? A better plan for feeling healthy? A guaranteed method for losing weight permanently? Finding the most flattering clothes for the least amount of money? Learning how to organize life and closets?
There are no perfect solutions to life. We will experience messiness, disappointment, sadness, and all the accompanying emotions that happen when life isn’t perfect.
The people of Israel understood this full well. About 586 BC, Babylon laid siege to Israel, conquering them, destroying their temple, and taking their people as captives. They remained there for seventy years; the prophet Jeremiah told them that this wasn’t their permanent reality.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.
He also reminded them not to wait for life to change in their favor. He encouraged them to build homes, marry and have children, and become good neighbors to their captors. He knew many would never leave Babylon. But they weren’t to wait to live.
Neither are we. Life will always be filled with disappointments, things not going the way we’d hoped, loss, and grief. But we don’t try to fix it all; we live with the power and presence of God available to us to give us strength and perspective to get through tough times. We don’t wait till life suits us; we can live with the power of God’s life in us.
We are all fixers at some level. Apps, opportunities, and gizmos that make life easier for all of us.
Life isn’t meant to be managed and controlled. It’s meant to be lived and enjoyed. Trying to force change when we don’t have the power to alter life only frustrates us.
What will it take to allow God to influence and impact your life?
He is the forever fixer.