I was making my way round and round the eighth-mile indoor track when a couple of people walked into the empty gym. It was a Dad and his probably not quite two-year-old son, and they grabbed a couple of basketballs and started to play. They were adorable to watch. Dad would dribble, and his son would try to do the same. Dad would throw the ball the length of the court and his son would try, certain that he could get it just as far, then see the ball fall at his feet. He wasn’t discouraged. They kept going, running and “dribbling” and Dad was shooting a bit when his son wanted to try. Now, there was no way that kid was going to get it in the basket, so Dad did what maybe all parents have done as long as there have been Dads and basketball hoops. He picked him up and let him shoot, right at the basket height. It was no guarantee of success. Actually, he missed quite a few shots that way, but eventually he managed the huge-to-him basketball and tipped it in the basket. He was elated, and it was a joy for me to watch.
I finished my run and was stretching, listening to Mozart’s ‘Ave Verum Corpus’ to give myself a bit of center and I’m glad I did, because it helped me to see the scene on that court in its true sacred sense, as a metaphor for how God lifts us up to accomplish things we could never do on our own. Well, I’ll speak for myself. He certainly lifts me.
Like the toddler on the court, I am impatient and I often believe my accomplishments are all my own, failing to give credit where it’s due. I take for granted my talents and abilities and the opportunities God gives me. I sometimes can’t manage even the easiest shot even with a huge assist, but God, like the Dad, patiently waits for me as I struggle to hold what’s been given to me and do what I’m supposed to with it.
It’s a good reminder of how it’s all is designed to work. I am determined to hold on to that image of father and child and recognize how loved and helped I am by God who made me and who is responsible for every good thing I have ever and will ever accomplish. It takes the pressure off, really, while I run seemingly aimless in a million directions, when all I really need to do is cooperate with Someone much bigger than me who has been rooting for me all along.
Thank you, Dad.