January 27, 2019

I play racquetball. The most frustrating moments (sadly, there are many of them) are when the ball bounces exactly as I expect it to, I know exactly where I want to hit it, I take a big swing & completely miss the ball. I used to rap my racquet on the side wall to vent the anger I was feeling toward myself in the moment. I’ve been able to correct that habit by reasoning with myself: 1) it wasn’t the racquet’s fault, 2) if I keep rapping my racquet on the wall it’s going to cost me the price of a new racquet, & 3) it is a rather immature reaction. I now allow the primal yell that bursts from my lungs to suffice as a sufficient cathartic expression (much more mature).

I never get angry at my opponents – I’ve even cheered for them whenever they’ve hit a cracker jack shot – I only ever get angry with myself. I expect to be able to hit a ball with a racquet that is 10 times larger than the ball. I expect to be able to hit a wall that is 20 feet high & 20 feet wide.

Let me add to my list of self-expectations at which I often fail: 1) remembering why I walked into a certain room, 2) remembering to use the coupons in my pocket, 3) driving defensively with kindness & understanding toward all who share the road .… I need a lot of self-forgiveness – how about you?

Pastor Joel Everhart

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