When I was a little girl I did everything with exuberance and expression. I felt a vast range of emotions, sometimes in the matter of a few seconds. If you know anything about the enneagram, I am a 4 through and through. Around the age of 5 I remember my parents sent me to a soccer day camp. My dad being a soccer coach, he was so thrilled that his creative, artistic, expressive daughter was showing an interest in any form of physical activity outside of dancing around the living room in a princess dress singing "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood (I know, not the most typical favorite song of a five year old.) I remember that Monday morning my mom got me ready for the first day of what would be a five day camp. She put my hair in two little space buns, which I insistently called pearls, slathered me with sunscreen and loaded me in the car, cleats, shin guards, and all. The day went as expected and my parents picked me up that afternoon. When we got in the car they asked me how my day was, and I began to cry. I'm sure that wasn't the response they expected, but it also wasn't too uncalled for at this stage in my life. I began to tell them about my day, that we played games, ate a snack, and when we finally started our soccer game... someone TOOK THE BALL FROM ME!!! I was completely outraged, and I'm sure you can imagine how frustrated I was that my parents were not mirroring the same level of anger and concern. In fact, it was the exact opposite, they were hysterical! Of course this only caused my frustration to grow.
Despite sitting on the sidelines of many soccer games and watching my dad coach and drill at practices I had completely forgotten the point of the game. All I knew in that moment was that I had the ball and I was going to do with it what I wanted to, until it was taken away. Isn't that how so many of us live our lives? We pray and seek God for His will, for guidance, for clarity, and once we have what we've asked for we take the ball and we run with it. Many of us have sat in church pews and heard God's word preached, we pray, we open our Bibles daily and seek His truth, and yet we fail to apply it to our lives when it's go time. I know I'm guilty of all these things! Proverbs 16:9 says, "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." We can and should make plans, but the issue is when we ask God for His will and then try to make it into our own. If we don't play by His rules we're most likely going to end up crying in the back seat because we didn't get it our way. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." We can trust that His plans are always exceedingly better than any plans we could make on our own. He loves us and wants the very best for us. So, next time I try to take the ball and run with it, I'm going to try and save myself some tears and play the game His way.