Growing up I was a tomboy. I still am.
In kindergarten, I decided (and loudly declared) I was the best athlete that ever lived. I would tell all my classmates on the bus ride home, “I will even prove it to you! You aren’t even good enough competition for me…send your older brother over.” Luckily, no one ever took me up on my offer, but I figured it was because they were scared.
My family likely nurtured my sense that I was an all-star. We would often play family backyard baseball. I developed an unwavering belief I would be the winner. I would envision hitting a homerun—then nail it. I was the best! (Apart from a homer by dad, I was.) I mean, my competition was my little sisters (one of them a toddler at the time) and my mom, who has an uncanny ability, even to this day, to hit the ball backwards.
As an adult, I have assumed that my athletic illusions of grandeur have worn off. A few weeks ago, I realized they are ever-present. I got it in my head that I was excellent at bowling. I told my husband tales of how wonderful I used to be and I confidently challenged him to a game. I lost miserably (my score was in the 30s), yet part of me still believes I was just having an off day.
In all reality, I am a decent athlete. I played basketball for a time in high school, and in college and seminary I took up hiking and biking. But I have never been the best—or even close to it. In all honesty, those of you who know me know I am particularly clumsy and prone to injury. So how in the world do I continue to have this belief I am invincible?
I can’t argue that my “invincibility complex” is healthy. Now that you know my little secret, you are welcome to give me a hard time about it. What sticks out to me is how it has allowed me to really believe in myself, to believe in the unbelievable, to believe in spite of the current realities. Somehow, baseball, allows us to do this—to root for our team regardless of their record, to cheer for the underdogs, to have hope for the next game/season/year. Baseball helps us get in touch with this magical ability we have to believe.
This week, I challenge you to think about what it would look like to have this much belief, this much faith, this much hope in the game of life. In prayer, offer God an area in which you feel defeated, discouraged, in which the odds are against you, and ask God to renew your sense of belief in the love and power of God. Pray too, that God would give you a confidence, not one that comes from pride, but one that comes from a belief that God is at work in and through you. Perhaps you can read and reflect on the words of Philippians 4:13 as you spend time in prayer: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. My prayer is that in this, we will start seeing the magical things God is up to in our lives.
– Rev. Katherine Ebling-Frazier