Friday, March 04, 2011

When Scuffed Up Is Just Right

From It's Like Herding Cats

When I first came to New Hope, as we pulled into the parking lot two things caught my eye and my imagination - just down the street sat Valparaiso Elementary, and just across the street sat the Little League field.

I love baseball. From time to time I find baseballs here at New Hope that have been fouled off across the street and have found their way into our shrubbery. Since many of the games are played at night, finding them apparently is difficult then. So I have a drawer full. :)

Holding one of those takes me back. To my Little League days as a scatter armed pitcher with more speed than control. Particularly if the umpire had given me a new baseball. They were just too perfect, too slippery to use. So you'd try to rub some mud on them, or try to keep one with a couple of scuffs in the game.

Turns out they do that in the big leagues too. A company out of New Jersey supplies river mud (just where from is a closely guarded secret) to every major and minor league time, and has since 1945. Without it, the baseballs are too perfect to use.

Think about that.

Every stitch is in place. The horsehide cover is blemish free. The classic red stitching and white cover - perfect. But it's useless until rubbed in the mud - scuffed up.

Too many of us are wishing and hoping for lives of pure perfection too. Plenty of money, perfect health, successful job, never a care or worry, no grief nor pain. We think if everything were perfect, we'd be happy. Maybe we would be, but we wouldn't be as useful to God. Our "scuffs" are something that helps us relate to other people whose lives are "scuffed up" too.

Galatians 6:9–10 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

Scuffed up is just right.


David Wilson

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