When I was five years old, we lived next door to a farm. Several children lived on the farm, and the boys in the family were older than me.
One of their favourite past-times was to play ball. One day, some of the boys decided I was old enough to play, and they invited me to join in a game.
I was so excited. I was now a big girl and was going to play ball with the older boys!
They showed me how to bat the ball, and I hit the ball my first time up. As soon as the ball left the end of my bat, everyone started screaming at me. “Run home, Esther! Run home!”
I dropped the bat and ran as fast as I could straight towards home. I ran straight past the pitcher, straight past second base and continued straight towards my house across the yard. “Mommy, Mommy!” By the time I reached my home, I was an inconsolable heaving mass of tears, mucous and regrets.
“How could they be so mean! Why would they scream at me to run home! I was only a little girl. It wasn’t my fault I didn’t know how to play the game. Mommy, why?”
Although my neighbours had invited me to play ball, no one had taken the time to explain to me how the game was played. I didn’t understand the goal of the game. I didn’t know that my destination after hitting the ball was to run home – to home base.
Sometimes I experience similar situations 45 years later in life.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
If the vision is too small, only a certain number of people can play in the game. There is not enough room for everyone. If I try and participate when there is no room, I end up realising I am just the little girl wanting to play in the ball game before the big boys decided I was old enough to play.
If the vision is not clearly explained, I won’t understand my destination. I then become the little girl running for the wrong home in an inconsolable mess of tears, mucous and regret because the crowds are screaming at me, and I don’t understand why.
The little story from my past is a stark reminder that in adult life I need to take the responsibility to ensure I know my destination. I need to make sure the team I play on wants me to play with them. I also need to make sure I know my part so I understand what I am to do.
I have a responsibility to listen to God’s voice (my Coach) and make sure I know the bases He wants me to run to while on my journey to home base – my eternal heavenly home.
Lessons we learn in childhood are invaluable if we remember to practice them in our adult lives.