Worthy of the Shirt
"When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant, I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory."
Psalm 73:21 NASB
This entire 73rd Psalm of Asaph has been on my heart all month. Because it kept coming up continually, I felt the Lord was leading me to write on it but I was lacking meaningful application. All it took to fix that was a Little League Baseball Game, a semi-illegal pitcher for the opposing team, and one mad Preacher's Wife.
Let me set this one up for you. We are currently in post-season play in a local County Tournament. The eligible teams are not All-Stars but ball clubs who have played together all season long. We have absolutely clobbered this particular team each time we have played thus far. When we arrived at the game expecting the same kids, we discovered two players had been added from a Select Travel Team. The new pitcher looks like Goliath and, giving credit where it is due, could flat out sling a baseball. Dad did not trust his boy to the coaching staff but instead gave pitching signals from behind the home plate fence. To make sure the whole family was involved in giving this child the star treatment, when he left the field, instead of sitting in the dugout with the 'regular' players, he sat in a lawn chair while his mother fanned him like the King of Siam.
Our boys could not hit a thing off this kid. His size was as intimidating as his pitching. The farther along the game went, the madder our parents got. A protest was filed before the game began but apparently the other team had snuck this kid under everyone's radar in the last two games of season play to make him eligible for the tournaments.
This is where I get to tell you how wonderful The Preacher is :) He is the model of grace under pressure and of letting the Lord fight your battles. He wasn't any happier about the situation than I was but he continued exchanging pleasantries with the umpire and other coaches while I sat with a scowl on my face the whole game. He came to the fence and said, "Why don't you smile a little bit?" I noticed he had on his shirt with our church's name on it. I said, "Because I am mad, I don't want to, and that is exactly why I don't wear The Church Shirt to ballgames." And I should have been sufficiently ashamed of myself right then. But it got a wee bit worse.
After the game, I was standing with a group of friends and my little boy who was devastated over the loss. Out of nowhere and for no explainable reason, one of the other team's Moms came up and said, 'Yay..we did it! Did ya'll see that score?? 7 - to - 1 !'
Oh, I know she didn't.
I literally let my jaw drop to the ground and I'm telling you the, "I guess you CAN finally win IF YOU CHEAT!!" remark was about to roll off my tongue when this little voice said, "Remember yourself, Lisa. Remember The Name." Ouch.
Which takes me back to the part of the verse above that talks about 'being a beast before You'. I almost acted like an idiot tonight and was close enough that I would have been embarrassed had I been wearing my church's t-shirt. If I have to worry about shaming The Name by how I act at the ballfield I do believe I need to stay home.
So tell me, am I alone in this? Does how you act ever conflict with The Name you profess? Are you afraid to wear the shirt? To put the Fish on your car? Let's be mindful of our testimony, Girls. We may be the only Jesus some people ever see. The Lord really humbled me but thankfully, He promises to take my hand and guide me to Proverbs 31 behavior. Even better than that, if I have a stroke at the ballfield from having to keep my big mouth shut, He promises to receive me to Glory. However, I can think of other ways I'd rather go out and hopefully when I do, I'll leave this world proudly wearing The T-Shirt.
I would love a visit from you at my personal blog, The Preacher's Wife.