I had one of those memories today. It wasn't actually my own experience, but I still remember just as clearly as if it had been...
Oklahomans can be characterized in a few words--three to be exact--God, Country, and football. So naturally one would think when my sister, Dalayna, came in from the bus announcing the arrival of a famous ball player to her class my parents would have rushed to Wal-Mart to purchase a football. Instead, they rushed to Wal-Mart and purchased a baseball.
I can only imagine the questioning looks when Dalayna walked up to the Seattle's Seahawks Hall of Famer, Steve Largent and hands him a baseball of all things. His response? He snatches up the ball, rolls it in his hand, and signs it...right on the sweet spot.
Over ten years later, that ball is still around somewhere, collecting dust, a testament to a missed opportunity. Out of curiosity I found myself searching for the price of Steve Largent signed memorabilia. You know, if Dalayna had taken a football that day instead of a baseball there's a good chance she could have made some money off that thing. People will pay the most ridiculous prices for things like signed footballs and autographed helmets and original jerseys. But we don't have a signed football or helmet or jersey. No, we have a signed baseball.
It's easy to get side tracked in our memories especially the memories of missed opportunities. Haunted by these pictures discouragement seizes it's opportunity. Because we're discouraged we lose hope. And because we lose hope we fail to remember who God is and what he wants us to do and who He's called us to be. Hopeless, lonely, doubtful...anger just tends to become who we are.
But I challenge us to look past the hopelessness and the loneliness and the self loathing to see the truth.
Psalm 46:10, 11 (AMP) says this, '"Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God..." The Lord of host is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.' (emphasis mine)
Reality is every missed opportunity is gone. It's not coming back.
Reality is missing opportunities brings us disappointment. But disappointment can only paralyze us if we let it.
Reality is there's no going back. There is only moving forward.
But in moving forward I have the assurance that God is with me. In moving forward I know I have a refuge. Let it be. The past is gone. Let it be and then be still and know that God is fighting for you. There's no one better to fight for us. He's the one who works all things for good to those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)
We don't have a signed football or helmet or jersey. We have a signed baseball.
But I don't know anybody else who has a baseball signed by the Football Hall of Famer, Steve Largent. Do you?