That really hurt...

It was a typical Sunday afternoon at our house... several had been here for lunch... there was conversation, there was some sporting event on television, there was a nap or two.

I had a full week ahead having just started a new position, so I was reviewing the calendar of upcoming meetings and activities.  It was a gorgeous, warm July afternoon, so... of course, I said yes when asked to "fill in" for an unnamed daughter in an evening coed softball game at the park - it was a sweet little church league... it'll be fun!  I had played for years... through high school, college intramurals, church league...

I was happy as a clam to be placed in right field... hmmm.. it had been a while... surely like riding a bike, the rhythm of the game would quickly envelop me.  The first inning was going well, and then, I heard the ping of the bat, and saw the ball coming my way... I knew it was going to bounce in front of me.. a low line drive it was - so I tried to slow my momentum... but my slick running shoes so appreciated the damp grass and I "slid" toward the ball.  My memory of scooping a ball right up was quick... but somehow I didn't time it so well, and as my right gloved hand made an attempt to scoop, I felt a significant pop.  (So, yeah, I heard the pop, too.)

That really hurt!

I was determined to continue playing... surely with a little ice later, I would be fine.  I batted a couple of times... even got on base.  My confidence was increasing, and I was up to bat again.  Even with the challenged strength in my hand, the hit was solid.

I hustled toward first... I was almost there... I was actually going to make it... I might even need to think about making the turn toward second... I still got it...

Uncertain that a throw was coming, I was taken by surprise when the ball collided with the left side of my head.  You know, those cartoons that show the little character getting hit by the bus... yeah, that's how it felt - like being lifted off my feet and flattened to the ground.  My right compromised hand wasn't much help to break my unexpected crash.

That really hurt!

So, sports fans...  there is a strong possibility that this particular "Casey at the Bat" may certainly be hanging up the bat and cleats.  My hand was broken, and the ER doctor confirmed a concussion.

I probably should have listened to the other players, my sweet husband, and my family in attendance, and stopped playing after the first inning.  My hand really hurt!

Firmly believing and always acknowledging Romans 8:28 that "in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose", I am aware of how the Lord used the weeks that followed in teaching me about listening carefully and quietly to Him, about resting in His timing, about His perfect provision, and about learning from this experience even in the future.

With that said, as I am a few months away from this event, the reminder of my decision to keep on playing after significant warning encourages a bit of pondering.  Nehemiah is fast becoming my favorite Old Testament book.... the beautiful prayer of Nehemiah in chapter 1, the building of the temple in Jerusalem with opposition, the building of the temple with resolve, the sincere confession and repentance of sin... and then...

Nehemiah 9:16, "But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands."  Nehemiah was recounting the story of the Israelites as they wandered in the desert, continuing over and over to doubt God's provision, to refuse to listen, to fail to remember the miracles they had seen, and to rely on their own strength.

Some synonyms for stiff-necked -obstinate, intractable, willful, pigheaded.  Just sayin'

Not thinking I would list "stiff-necked" in my bio for an introduction, BUT I'm afraid it just might be a noted quality of mine.  I know best in this situation; I can handle this one; I don't want to give this up; I got this...

The middle letter in the word, stiff is "I"... just noticed that...

So, my prayer today... that I will be in such close communion in His word, in prayer, in thought... that He will lead (just as He promises) and that I will clearly listen and obey ... the first time.

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