i once believed that the whole of spiritual formation was summarized in that sing-song phrase “read your Bible, pray every day and you’ll grow, grow, grow.”
then i learned a little about the classic spiritual disciplines of the Christian life from a quirky quaker and my understanding of formation expanded as i learned to meditate, journal, celebrate and fast for the good of my soul and the glory of God (ok, i’ve never been any good at fasting, but every hitter has a whole in his swing).
now, i’m slowly beginning to realize, in a halting manner that readily betrays my discipleship disabled ass, that every experience, relationship and moment provides an opportunity for formation. take baseball, for instance.
although we are only three games into the season, i have already seen how fear still tempts me to duck away instead of leaning into life. i committed a couple of egregious sins of commission (i.e., mistakenly giving my slow-footed catcher the green light to steal second with one out) and omission (failing to contest a judgment call and so encouraging my players to buck up to the blues themselves) last night from the third base coaching box and as a result i am, quite frankly, afraid of calling the shots again tonight. my failure to act led my players to ignore my leadership on the bases (to our peril), question my passivity in the dugout and lose their focus on the game. as a result, i had difficulty sleeping, i’ve felt like obliterating my jitters by punching a fucking wall all day and i would rather not suit up and show up to twi field tonight.
but i know that capitulating to my fears would not only harm my reinforce my tendency to duck, dive, dodge and duck from whatever life hurls at me, but could also ruin my relationships with my players and feed the insecurities that try to keep me captive. so i’m choosing to lean in to this experience and see what i can make of both this season, and subsequently, my life.
i wouldn’t say that i’m overwhelmingly optimistic about tonight’s game, but i still believe that even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.