Bowling With Christ: Pin #4 – The Bowling Ball
How are you doing? Did any of you get pranked on April Fool’s Day? or Were you the one doing the pranking? I remember growing up, I would always try to prank my siblings; but since they were older, I was never successful. However, they certainly knew how to prank me! I remember one time, they removed the cream filling from a normal Oreo and put toothpaste between the cookies. YUCK! Do you know of any good pranks I could try?
This week, we find ourselves at the bowling alley with Christ. As a matter of fact, we find ourselves contemplating the perfect bowling that is going to knock down all the pins. But first, do you remember what we talked about last week? BUMPERS! That’s correct! Now do you remember what the bumpers are used for? TO MAKE SURE THE BALL DOESN’T GO IN THE GUTTER! Very good! And those bumpers teach us a lot about the power of God. Just like the bumpers on the bowling alley, God gives us bumpers in life that guard us, protection us, and keep us moving safely down the narrow path. These bumpers help us to bounce back toward Christ when we do or say the wrong thing, and they help us to refocus and to center ourselves on the path forward. The bumpers are there to keep us out of trouble so that we can knock all ten pins down. However, we must be willing to try our best to stay in the middle of the lane where Jesus’ love is the greatest.
Today, we move onto the bowling ball. One ingredient in the bowling experience that can make a big difference is the weight of the ball. Young kids can’t lift very many pounds, so maybe a six or eight pound ball is all they can handle. Older and bigger kids can lift balls as heavy as 12 to 16 pounds. Lighter balls are easier to swing and release, but often the heavier balls can pack a bigger punch to the pins. But what does the weight of the bowling ball teach us about God?
As believers, we are not all given the same advantages and disadvantages on our Christian walk: we all have different “weights.” Some of us live easier lives and may only hit a few pins. Some have lived through terrible calamities and may end up with a perfect strike. God uses each of us for His purposes, but often those who have come from desperate situations can make a big impact for others going through the same trials. And people called to lives of hardship can often focus more on the Lord than those who live lives of ease. Each bowling ball is different and unique, but has been made with the same purpose and goal: to knock down as many pins as possible.
Paul wrote in his letter to the people of Ephesus, “He himself granted that some are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11). God has given all of us special gifts and talents, and has equipped us to do his work, to love one another, and to, as Paul stated, “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). You see, although each bowling ball has a different weight, every bowling ball was created to accomplish the same task: knock down as many pins as possible. God has created all of us in a special and unique way–no one is truly identical–with the same goal: to help others, care for others, pick others up, and love others with our whole heart.
So, the next time you find yourself trying to pick the perfect or coolest looking bowling ball, remember that God has already chosen you to be the one who will knock all those pins down and share His love wherever you go. In the words of my favorite childhood game, Silly Six Pins, “Let’s get the ball rolling!”
Your Friend, Holy Spirit!
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