Ball Friday

It’s Friday, and it’s payday. Finally.

Another deep freeze day in the Pacific Northwest. It’s still below freezing, and it’s late morning. The shadows, hidden away from the light, stay cold and slippery.

People got a little testy about yesterday’s commute in. “Why didn’t we get delayed today instead of yesterday? I slipped all over the roads,” they grumbled, including yours truly. I fishtailed all over the highway. This is where we’re supposed to use our best judgment. Well, the roads in Shelton were sanded down nicely. Highway 101 didn’t get the same kind of treatment.

Dakota and I had our ball time. We hung out in the 17-degree air, chasing elusive tennis balls. I threw a brand new one to her. It was gone. Couldn’t find it again. So then the hunt began for a second ball for me to throw. She wasn’t about to surrender the ball in her mouth, her pacifier and lucky charm.


We wandered around the yard. She found one in the grass. What I love about Dakota is that she never holds it against me when I can’t find a ball. She may be disappointed, sure, but she doesn’t get mad at me. She might bark a lot, because she ends up inside sooner than she wants to be. Yet it’s never a long-standing pout. Because there’s always another time to play, another morning, another sunny stretch of afternoon light to romp in.

Eventually, she stood over something in the upper lawn. I sound ritzy saying that, don’t I? We have two patches of lawn, and an orchard out back. The orchard is 7 trees. It’s just a shorthand, not a major fruit producing parcel.

I walked over to where Dakota stood in the crunchy grass. A ball. I dipped the bright green chucker down to pick it up. God bless the person who invented this item. It has saved me many a nasty handful of ball juice/guts/dog drool. The ball, frozen like Alaskan tundra, wouldn’t go into the curved space designed for it. It felt like a frigid lead weight. Instead of a fuzzy orb with a rubber interior, it had no give. I put my foot on it and forced it into the device.

I reached my arm back and flung the ball, freeing it from its keeper. It soared over the yard – not too far – and landed with a thunk. It bounced exactly once: upon impact. The solid innards didn’t allow it any room to respond to the even harder frost-bound ground. It rolled to a stop a foot from where it hit.

How often do we refuse to surrender? The ball seemed an object lesson. We hold onto our ways so tightly, convinced we’re right. I have been in a position to be hard and unyielding about certain things in my life. I thought I had it all figured out. The way to live. The way to worship. The way to love Jonathon and the kids. But I don’t. I need to be able to bounce back when things turn out contrary to what I’d hoped for, prayed for. I need to make sure I have “give” to receive new ideas and new ways of serving, new pathways that open up. I serve the Creator, the most creative and innovative One in the universe. Shouldn’t I be open to His voice and insights? Yes, the Bible has the truth. But the “hows” can shift.   I want to be in His will in all things at all times.

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”  – Psalm 46:10