My little plastic bat

I fumbled around with the tee and the bat.

It was hard to play baseball by myself.

The tee helped, but it was boring–I wanted my sister to come back to play.

I heard footsteps running my direction and turned to see her—she was crying, sprinting, followed by a crew of kids on bicycles chasing her.

She collapsed in our front yard sobbing as they taunted her and called her names.

I grabbed my plastic, yellow bat.

I yelled at the kids, LEAVE MY SISTER ALONE!!!

They laughed.

I yelled louder, threatened them and began to wave my bat over my head, charging at them.

Surprisingly, they began to ride away—laughing, but they retreated.

I chased them down the street—my four-year-old, little self, acting nuts.

This is one of my families’ favorite stories to share about me.  When they explain the reason for my nickname, Pistol.

I have a vivid memory of this event, too.  Though, I’m not sure if it’s an actual memory; Or maybe it’s an image based on the story being told repeatedly by my family.

Regardless, I find some sort of weird pleasure in being a badass at 4. 

It’s funny to me that I thought I was big.

I thought I was tough.

I thought my voice was powerful enough to make them run away.

I thought my plastic bat was an actual threat.

Thinking of it now, it really makes me wonder why they fled? 

Did they see my mom in the window? 

Were they annoyed by me? 

Were they satisfied by the level of sadness they had already inflicted on my sister?

Regardless, I really thought I had the power to make a group of kids twice my age run away from me—on bikes, no less.

We do that, right?  We put a lot of faith in our big-ness, sturdiness, capability.  We have an inflated view of ourselves.  But then when we are in a situation where we are confronted by our weakness….

Oh, how the mighty fall.

The truth is, we were not made to be badass’. 

Scripture tells us over and over again who the warrior is– the active agent in creation, in conquering sin,  in our day-to-day lives and in the restoration of His Kingdom on earth is God.  

For I, the Lord your God hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.   Isaiah 41:13

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73: 26

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.  Exodus 14:14

I’m not good at being small. Or still. Or quiet. I pretend to be much tougher than I am for real.

I hate crying.

I hate waiting—I like to have a plan.

I arm myself with things like little plastic bats and think they are actual tools. 

I’m braver, sometimes, than is wise.

I propel myself forward out of sheer will, when perhaps asking God to act on my behalf might be the better action. Being still might be the best thing on my to-do list.  But my angsty little self likes to jump into the thick of things.

I am learning how to pause—how to ask God—how to listen—how to wait for an answer—and how to then move forward faithfully.  It’s different.  There is a kind of ego or pride that develops with being tough enough to swing a bat at a bully; but there is something deeper being developed when I can pause and invite God into my struggle.  An acknowledgment of my smallness.  An awareness of my need for help.  A desire to have God enter into the story and bring about the best and right response to whatever the situation is.

I know this. And it’s still hard to put down my little, yellow bat.

Oh, Lord—teach me how.

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