I stood in the middle of the Herbert Hoover gymnasium. It was my very first gymnastics meet and it was taking place at our rival middle school. (Note: schools were really called junior high back then but it sounds weird now.) It was my first shot in what seemed to me… the big leagues. So there I am in the middle of the floor.
The music begins…I see my mother, teammates and my best friend who came to cheer me on sitting in the stands. The music starts. Instead of gracefully lunging to the left and then lunging to the right… I froze. I couldn’t remember one single move from my routine. Not a one! Sweat began to pour down my forehead. Gymnastics career…over. My coach whispers to me, “You can’t leave the mat until the music is over.” “No problem coach”, I thought, “I can’t move anyway.” There I stood… a deer in the headlights.
Was I scarred for life? No. Was I humiliated? Absolutely. Did I learn anything from it? You bet I did! I had a choice to make. Sulk and cower or laugh at myself and move onward and upward. Because I had a good coach and wonderful support system, I chose to stick to it and work harder to overcome my fears. Along with facing my fears, I knew I had to practice. Whenever and wherever I could. I needed to understand myself and my potential to be better. It was a tremendous life lesson that carried into many areas of my life, including a search for deeper meaning in life, purpose, and questions about eternity.
While I’d love to say, just go to church on Sunday, kick back and enjoy the ride. We know nothing works that way. Showing up to gymnastics practice in my team leotard, made me feel “really cool” and a part of something special, but it required effort to develop the skills. Everything in life does. Including your relationship with God. Do you want to “get better” at knowing God? Or are you content to get by with what you learned in Sunday school? It’s your choice.
If you feel a tug to understand Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, God the Father, the bible; you have been given the free-will to do something about it. A greater understanding of God is not just going to sweep over you like magic. This week pray a prayer for direction. Seek advice from a friend who can support you. Visit a local bible study or pick up a small devotional book that points you to the scriptures. The absolute coolest thing about all of this is He wants you to knock at his door and ask because you are loved by Him. When life is tough, or you become paralyzed by fears, you don’t have to be that deer in the headlights.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks… finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
“I read novels but I also read the Bible. And study it, you know? And the more I learn, the more excited I get.” Johnny Cash