Reflections from the Home Team - September 19, 2020
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Reflections from the Home Team - September 6, 2020
…Sometimes when our minds are fixed on asking why when facing physical, emotional or spiritual challenges along with the personal toxic thought spirals that can result, we simply can’t see the forest through the trees. An old baseball saying comes to mind for me… “I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger, and then it hit me!” Often, when an obvious solution may be right in front of us, we simply don’t realize it until it literally hits us!
Greetings from Cedar Falls,
As we step into the Labor Day weekend, I find myself thinking back to some of the trials I have experienced along the way on my life’s journey. I often continue to want to ask the question why, which I know is not productive, but at the same time, the thought seems to keep crossing my mind. I’m guessing I may not be the only one experiencing this based on some recent conversations with friends, but it begs the question for me… Why does life keep teaching me lessons I have no desire to learn?
My mind and thoughts have been troubled recently thinking about the tragic loss of life and property given the recent civil unrest throughout the country, the impact Covid 19 has had on all our lives as well as the number of challenges that accompany the cancer journeys that so many of us are experiencing either ourselves or with a friend or loved one. I know that in visiting with others recently who have experienced the impact of these challenges, or for that matter, any of the curveballs that life can throw our way, those thoughts can bring a wave of feeling helpless in trying to know how to deal with them, while also sneaking in the thought of “Why Me?”
I think sometimes we all may feel as though we have no faith in God because we do ask the question why… I know that many times when I have asked myself the question why, in most cases, I hadn’t given the situations confronting me much focused thought until I actually experienced the suffering or challenges they presented. In turn, I had to formulate a response on the fly. Not a good time when our thinking is muddled, and we may be exhausted as well. The point being that we need to think about how we will deal with challenges before those trials come our way.
I often get asked whether I’ve ever had a moment in my life when I had doubts or questions… Of course, I have. I don’t know whether I’d qualify them as doubts, but they certainly have qualified as very hard times. One of those times, of course, was when I was diagnosed with cancer and went through the difficult treatment process. I asked why… why me? The question wasn’t so much why it happened to me, although I have to admit that I asked that. It was more why now, what have I done to merit being diagnosed with cancer at this time in my life?
I’ve come to the conclusion there’s nothing wrong with asking God why. It’s okay, just don’t expect an immediate answer, but it’s OK to ask away. If God were to actually answer and say, “Okay, now I’m going to tell you why… Are you ready for it? Write it down,” we probably wouldn’t like the answer anyway!
Sometimes when our minds are fixed on asking why when facing physical, emotional or spiritual challenges along with the personal toxic thought spirals that can result, we simply can’t see the forest through the trees. An old baseball saying comes to mind for me… “I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger, and then it hit me!” Often, when an obvious solution may be right in front of us, we simply don’t realize it until it literally hits us!
Most all of us have had situations in our life where it’s so tempting to wallow in the “why?” I guess asking why is normal, but I’ve found that if asking this question pushes me further from God rather than drawing me closer to Him, it is the wrong question. If asking the why question doesn’t offer hope, then what will? The what question seems to help me with that. In other words, “Now that this is my reality, WHAT am I supposed to do with it?”
Instead of wallowing in why this happened. I’ve had to do some self-talk by acknowledging this is my reality.
Now what am I going to do with it?
What can I learn from this?
What part of this is for my protection?
What other opportunities could God be providing? What maturity could God be building into me?
Switching from the “why” to the “what” questions paves the road to parking my mind in a much better place...
Is it always easy? No. But is it a way to find a perspective beyond situations where we feel God has allowed something in our lives we don’t understand, and we absolutely don’t like? Yes, it is, and I pray this process helps because even if my circumstances aren’t good, I can trust God’s purpose always is.
I want to process everything I face in life through the filter of His love. I know He loves me, but sometimes it’s just hard to understand the circumstances that come my way. I find myself consumed with trying to figure things out rather than looking for His perspective and trusting Him.
I continue to ask why but have yet to find a satisfactory answer. So, I’ll go back to whom, as into whom do I turn? The answer, of course, is Jesus Christ, because He’s the one who sustains me.
A verse from 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 provides me some comfort when I get stuck in asking the question why…
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally — not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead!”
This is some sound advice as we enter this Labor Day weekend, a Holiday designed to “throw down our tools” whatever they may be, back off a little bit, relax and chill out. It’s also a great time to trust God and watch what He can do. He can do it a whole lot faster and a whole lot better than we can do it. God can do what we can’t do. Jesus did not say, “If you’re busy, you can move mountains.” He didn’t say, “If you work really hard and get really stressed out, you can move a mountain.” He said that if you have faith, you can move mountains.” Matthew 17:20. Faith, not busyness, is what gets the job done. As that “curveball”, whatever it may be for you gets closer, let those words “hit” you.
So… when I get on that “hamster wheel” full of anxious thoughts and man-made solutions and the rug literally gets yanked out from underneath my feet, I need to continually remind myself that God my Father is fully capable and more than willing to hold and comfort me in His loving arms. I know that everything God does is done in order to draw me closer to Him.
I’ll close today with a quote taken from James Bryan Smith’s book titled The Good and Beautiful Life. Let these words ring in your ears as we tackle the ongoing challenges facing all of us each and every day.
“Each day, Jesus says to each of us, “Come follow me”. If we say yes, we can be sure that a good and beautiful day awaits us. And when we string those days together into months, years and decades, we will have lived a good and beautiful life. And that life is destined to echo a benediction of love for all of eternity to hear”
James Bryan Smith
Enjoy your weekend by putting down those tools and chilling!
Release Date Set for October 15, 2020
My website is currently “under construction” as I wait for the release of my new book Reflections from the Home Team… STAYING POSITIVE When Life Throws You a Curve! The book will be released on October 15, 2020. My Publisher has shared that they are experiencing printing delays due to the pandemic.
I thought you might enjoy an overview of the book which I have shared below prior to its release. Thanks to each of you for your support as part of my “HOME TEAM” over the years. Your love, support and encouragement have helped carry me through many of the challenges on my life’s journey❣️
Reflections from the Home Team... STAYING POSITIVE When Life Throws You a Curve! is intended to be a resource you can turn to each day for hope and encouragement as you take on the daily challenges that life may “pitch” your way. The book is a go-to resource for injecting a healthy dose of positivity into your daily life. Positivity has been proven to make a difference in overcoming negativity and adversity, and each reflection in the book examines positive perspectives and approaches to dealing with those life challenges.
Since writing Reflections from the Home Team… Go the Distance, and surviving cancer, the author has continued to share encouragement and inspiration for others who may be facing not only serious health issues such as cancer, but other life challenges as well. By processing his cancer journey through writing reflections based on his experiences and the experiences of those he has come into contact with, David Welter has provided hope and comfort for others who may be experiencing similar challenges in their life’s journey.
As this book is released, our world has been hit with the “curve ball” of the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected millions, cost hundreds of thousands of lives, ground travel to a standstill, and threatened the global economy unlike anything experienced in generations. It is a liminal moment where the world teeters on the threshold of hope or despair, winning or losing, great pain or great gain. Remember, life is like a baseball game; when you think a fastball is coming, you have to be ready to hit the curve!
Each reflection includes an encouraging attitude, a spiritual insight and a step to consider which are frequently blended with baseball analogies and metaphors. Life’s challenges are not easy, just as baseball isn’t always easy. The game provides many lessons about success and failure, and those lessons can often be applied in our life journeys. As life’s curveballs and challenges come our way, the author encourages reaching out to our “Home Teams” (both human and divine) for the strength, love, support and comfort needed to meet them.
Pastor Brian King writes:
“Dave is a teacher and coach at heart who knows the power of a well-spoken and well-timed word. A voracious reader and lifelong learner, his insights and musings are frequently spiced with the wisdom of theologians like Richard Rohr, pastors like Max Lucado, best-selling authors like Jon Gordon and, of course, baseball greats like Mariano Rivera. Dave is someone wired by God to look for the teachable moment in every situation, the winning approach to every challenge, and the deeper meaning in every experience. People are looking for good coaching, sound advice, faithful counsel, and time-tested insights as they approach challenges they’ve never encountered before. For this reason, I am thankful that my friend, Dave Welter, has been given “the tongue of a teacher”. Even in this changing, turning, and challenging world, Dave has a word to sustain the weary; a message for “STAYING POSITIVE when life throws you a curve!”