A hush fell over the crowd as Ben retrieved his ball from the rack. “Ben has zeroed in on his place on the alley,” whispered the sportscaster. “Look at that concentration. His armswing looks good. What a great hook! And it’s a strike! What a powerhouse!”
Quietly the sportscaster continued as Jerry stepped onto the alley. “Although Jerry was ahead, Ben evened the score with that last strike. It’s a clutch situation for Jerry. Let’s see what he does now. Anything less than 2 strikes and Ben will win the game. Here he goes!”
“Ahhh!” gasped the sportscaster. “It’s a puddle! Well folks, the ball started out centered, but veered off and ended up in the gutter. Jerry choked under the pressure.”
Standing beside Ben after his win, the sportscaster asked, “Ben, you bowl so many strikes each game. How do you do it?”
Smiling, Ben replied, “I concentrate on the target and that small pocket of pens I need to hit for a strike.
Have you noticed that I close my eyes and take a breath before I start? That’s so I can stay calm, think positive and focus. I have to have faith that I can hit the pocket especially if I have just rolled a puddle.
(Not that kind of puddle! A gutter ball is a puddle!)
“Even if I have just hit a turkey, I can’t let my excitement take over or I may miss the mark. I take a moment to be thankful and excited but, then I have to refocus. There is also daily practice, practice and more practice. I continuously look to learn new things so I can improve too.”
“Well, that’s great advice Ben. Thanks for listening folks. This is Jeff Stroble signing off.”
Are you a bowler? Ben’s pointers to consistently bowl strikes, are like pointers for us to follow God’s will for our lives.
1. DAILY CHOOSE TO MAKE OUR TARGET TO DO GOD’S WILL.
Ben’s choice was to concentrate on the target hoping for a turkey.
Nope! Not that kind of turkey! Three strikes in a row? Now, that’s called a turkey!
We too make choices many times a day. Don’t we? Some choices are big and some not so much. Are all the things we do God’s will? Probably not. But by making it our daily goal, we will at least score a strike sometimes.
Each morning we can start by asking God to give us His wisdom and direction throughout the day.
For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.
2. PRAY OFTEN.
Besides asking for God’s direction each morning, as choices come up, ask again.
Like Ben closed his eyes and took a breath before he proceeded, we can close our eyes, say a prayer and listen before making a choice. Taking a calming breath never hurts either. God’s Holy Spirit will lead us in our choices.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
Psalm 143:10 ESV
3. FOCUS, THINK POSITIVE AND HAVE FAITH.
Stay focused on doing God’s will. Remembering scriptures can give us a positive focus and increase our faith.
Whether we veer off our path like a gutter ball or score a strike, we will eventually get there if we stay focused on God. If we make a mistake? Have faith, leave the mistakes behind & focus on what is ahead.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
Then we step forward in faith to do whatever we feel God is leading us to do.
4. PRACTICE & LEARN NEW THINGS
How do we practice?
Well, it may be a little different than Ben practicing bowling but, we can practice by applying the principles above.
What about learning new things?
We do that by growing our relationship with God through prayer, listening to God and studying His Word. The more our relationship grows, the easier it is to be led by our loving God into the abundant life He has for us.
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV
Remember, God’s will is always loving, glorifying to God and aligns with His scriptures.
It’s not always easy to find God’s will for the choices in our lives each day but, if we don’t aim for it, we will never score a strike. So, next time you go bowling, think about God’s will and aim for a strike!
Is God helping you to make the choices in your life? If not, what can you start doing today to include God?
Heavenly Father, as I write Psalm 31:3 and say it aloud, give me your wisdom and direction each day. Help me to recognize Your will. Give me the courage to step out in faith and do Your will. In Jesus name, Amen.
STEP OUT IN FAITH TO DO GOD’S WILL
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May your day be filled with love and laughter!
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Bowling photo Todd Diemer, unsplash
Turkey photo Randy Fath, unsplash
Puddle photo Kristin Brown, unsplash
Person photo Sammie Chaffin, unsplash