Friday, November 24, 2006

Tales of An Almost Bowler

So many wonderful people in Rockdale County comment about this article, and they have gotten to know little bits about me through it. When I run into someone in the grocery store, at Starbucks, or in a restaurant, they are so kind about the article. Yet, I feel that I must make a confession. A small detail about me might change the way you feel. Dear readers: I am a bowler.

Many of you may be shocked, but it is true. In fact, I have seen most of you at the lanes (that includes you, Mr. Russell). My weekly habit started off as a funny alternative to a usual night out. Eventually, it has turned into a weekly occurrence. The lanes, the left wall that was once a mural of the Dinky, the balls, and the hip shoes keep pulling me back.

Do not assume that my bowling implies that I am skilled at the sport. Bowling, like most other sports, leaves me with a pitiful score. My goal of breaking 100 shines as my beacon of hope most games. Every week, nonetheless, my bowling partner always seems to do worse than I do.

Most would assume that finding such a pitiful bowling partner would make for an exciting time. The first time we bowled, I was thrilled to win at something requiring some sort of athletic skills. My big brother would be proud! As I continued to win, it became less exhilarating. I am convinced that he is losing on purpose. How can someone with athletic skills and a competitive nature be that terrible at bowling? Also, his horrible bowling skills are following a pattern. He consistently bowls just a few pins less than me on most of the frames. Then, he falls behind by a huge margin. He finishes out that last frame with at least a spare and a strike every game. In the end, I will win by less than five pins.

He keeps telling me that he really is terrible, but his words mean nothing. Having someone lose because they feel sorry for me and my poor skills or he just find it more of a challenge to see how small of a margin he can create between our scores mimics my game, even though it is an awful one. My whining for him to “play for real” just makes him laugh. “Just let me be bad at it!” he says.

In our ongoing debate about the ultimate bowling charade, it is clear that nothing will change my mind. Every time he tosses the ball, I find more evidence to support my theory. If he hits a strike, it proves that he really can bowl. His mistakes and bad throws show him faking it again.

Are we ever so convinced that we have God figured out that we drown Him out completely?

In the midst of our world today, so many of us are overwhelmed with the mass amount of suffering and tragedy we find. Natural disasters, personal losses, and continual disappointments further implement our hidden theory that God is not good. How can you be God really be good if we feel this alone?
Jesus told us, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:32-33).

My friends, take heart. If we let go of our hidden agendas and open our eyes to see God, then we can start to see the reality of His goodness. He is good; you can trust Him on it.

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