I went to my granddaughter’s softball game this afternoon. It was a lovely day to watch a bunch of teenage girls give their all for the home team. Some were very talented. All were enjoying themselves in spite of losing—except for one girl.
She made a couple of poor throws (as did most of the others at one time or another) and she fell apart. Not tears. Temper.
The coach, a nice man giving up his free time to coach his daughter’s team, called, “Don’t let it worry you. Shake it off. It’s okay.”
She turned on him with a snarl, taking out her anger at herself on him. Her comments were not audible to those of us watching, but her disrespect was obvious.
When the team came off the field, she passed her mother seated nearby. Again I couldn’t hear the words, but I could see the mother, and she was not criticizing.
“Don’t!” the girl snapped. “You aren’t helping!” She dropped onto the bench with her shoulders hunched and her attitude all too visible. She continued this extreme behavior for the rest of the game. It wasn’t surprising to learn she had been benched another day because of a similar performance.
I watched the rest of her teammates deal with their problems with grace. One had the sole of her shoe separate and flap, but she kept on pitching until someone found her another pair to wear for which she said a polite and heartfelt thank you even though the shoes were too big. Another girl hurt her hand but kept playing her position. The catcher dealt with shin guards that slipped and had metal clips that left a bruise. And there was the other poor throws or stike outs or dropped flies, all handled with normal sighs and disappointment.
Attitude is so important. Sure, you have a right to feel upset when you make a bad throw. It’s embarrassing. You don’t have the right to be disrespectful and belligerent.
It’s like us widows having the right to deep sorrow but not the right to get angry at those who don’t understand. I know I didn’t understand until I experienced my loss. Oh, I got that widows were sad. Of course they were. But I didn’t get the massive, pervasive, life-altering extent of that sorrow.
After today’s observations at the ballgame, I am all the more committed to deal with my circumstances with an attitude of grace, not bitterness.
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
But always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
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