Pounding his finger into his chest our oldest declared with conviction “I can kick the kickball the farthest in this family.” Shortly after he added a stipulation. “Well at least of the kids in our family I can kick it the hardest and farthest.”
“ME, ME, I can kick it the best-est” proclaimed number three with a mouth full of spaghetti coated in so much Kraft Parmesan it looked more like Alfredo sauce than red.
“Um….boys.” Our daughter chimed in full of pride and conviction, with her head tilted to high drama mode, “I am stronger than you and I’m a girl.”
This banter went on for a while at the kitchen table. My husband and I laughing between the two of us about the ridiculousness of this discussion not adding a word just shaking out heads in amazement of what they can argue over.
Finally number three had heard enough. He knew he was not going to win this argument no matter how firmly he asserted his position. He made an assertion that none of them could argue with.
“Jesus kicks the kickball the farthest”
And a few moments later with sheepish smiles on their faces his older siblings had to agree “Yep…you are right.” I could tell by the smiles and their lips position they wanted to make another argument for how far they could kick the kickball. Our oldest son and our daughter wanted to find a reason to continue to make a petition on their amazing ability to kick a ball.
The youngest participant in this ‘playful’ banter had brought it to a close. I put ‘playful’ banter in quotations because it is ridiculous how fast a trivial conversation like this can turn to tears and aggressive yelling across a kitchen table.
Adults are no different. I want to assert all the things I am good at. I want others to see that I can, ‘kick the kickball the farthest.’ It is great to recognize positive things in our lives and the lives of others.
Christ has given each of us with different gifts. We each also have things we are really crappy at. At times I forget who is at work in my life. The things I am doing are not dependent upon me but on Christ. Because of that I can have comfort that the things that need to get done will get done. He might use me to accomplish it or he may use another.
I just have to get it through my thick skull that it is ‘Jesus who is doing the work of kicking’. He is the one who set it all in motion, who is sustaining it, and who will keep it all in motion.
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants you have established strength because of your foes to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for him
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth”
He uses us to ‘kick the kick ball’ he has ‘made us a little lower than the heavenly beings’ and ‘given us dominion over the work of HIS hands.’ not because we are mighty and strong. It is the exact opposite. We are a part of His world, we are loved, we are used by Him in spite of the face that we are as weak and dependent as babies.
We can have confidence in what we are doing not because of who we are or how good we are at something but because our confidence comes from Christ.
In parenting our confidence comes from Christ.
In our occupations our confidence comes from Christ.
In our marriages our confidence comes from Christ.
In living our lives out in our communities our confidence comes from Christ.
In our friendships our confidence comes from Christ.
On days when the kickball flies over the school building we can know where the power came from. On days when the kickball rolls two inches we can RUN hard and have the confidence to watch how it all plays out. On days when the kickball trips us up and we fall flat on our backs with the wind knocked out of our lungs we can look up to the sky with confidence.
Life is like kickball. Some days we kick a home run in parenting and are filled with joy. Other days we struggle in our marriages, friendships, parenting, communities, occupations and all we can do is lay on our backs with the wind knocked our of our lungs praying and knowing our confidence lies in Christ and not in ourselves.