As the baseball season in the U.S. proceeds to the epic World Series, those who love the sport are watching every pitch, swing, and strategy. One of the balls that spell a challenge is the curve ball and it’s designed to do exactly that. A curveball is a breaking pitch that has more movement than just about any other pitch. It is thrown slower and with more overall break than a slider, and it is used to keep hitters off-balance. When executed correctly by a pitcher, a batter expecting a fastball will swing too early and over the top of the curveball. Trouble for sure.
Curve balls are meant to be unexpected to keep the hitter off balance, but baseball isn’t the only arena where curve balls happen. Most of you know curve balls happen and come at us in life more than once or twice in our lives and the result of throwing us off-balance is the same.
In life they come in every area and variety. It can be financially because of a job change or loss or a collapse of the economy. It can be relationally when out of nowhere our family is torn apart for some reason we didn’t see coming or when a close friendship radically changes, and we suffer loss. It can be spiritually when a belief we held dear is upended by any number of devices the enemy has up his sleeve. It can certainly be physical when an illness or accident comes at us that we are helpless to stop.
What curve ball has come at you most recently? How did it impact you? What sustained you?
Whatever your answers, the most skilled hitter can tell you the whole deal about curve balls is they can never be conquered to assure you are not upended because you have no control.
That’s how curve balls in life can feel as well even though how we have lived, what has sustained us and served us on ordinary days do make a difference in how we handle the ordeal and its results. Those little habits you utilize every day in every area of your life can make a difference when that crunch time comes whether that is in how you manage money, how you disciple your spiritual life, or how you steward your health.
I know they have been happening to many of you who write blog posts as I read about them week in and week out. I suspect others when a writer who posts regularly suddenly is not there on the usual days with words of encouragement and inspiration. When they write again, I hear some of the story and glean what served them well during that time.
I have had my fair share of curve balls, but I don’t always write about them. Perhaps that is because I am aware whatever curve ball comes or when is not predictable but the reality that they come isn’t. None of us are singled out. It goes with living on a fallen earth where sin, disease, sickness, etc. are the norm.
For the first time since I started this website in 2015, a curve ball coming at me has meant I have not written anything for two weeks. For some of you who visit here regularly, you may have noticed.
My curve ball came while I was in another state enjoying the celebration of a bridal shower for our oldest grandson’s future bride. With the abruptness of a sharp wind blowing open a door, I was hit with a severe strain of influenza that sent my temperature soaring and my sleep perpetually interrupted with a cough that wouldn’t quit. My daughter jumped into action as we sought to protect my husband from the illness and got me to an ER and recommendations that I have been following ever since I arrived home again a week ago.
Even so, this virus has been relentless in not being willing to totally release its grip. Each day is a small improvement until today I am back at my computer while not having a full voice or usual energy.
It was a fresh reminder of the suddenness of curve balls, a reminder of needing to trust in the Lord who has seen me through other curve balls, and never to take my good health for granted. Never have I had the flu like this, and it has been many years since I have been as ill as I have been, but God still protected me from what could have been worse. Friends brought meals when we returned home, and my husband has been ever attentive as I move on the road to recovery.
In this life, curve balls will keep happening. Hold fast to the One who has brought you along the journey thus far, no matter where the ball comes from. He will never leave or forsake you on the journey.