Now, today we went bowling.
Possibly the activity (after reverse bay parking and netball) that I am the most UNTALENTED at.
In the world.
Untalented. Not good at. Hilariously bad in the undertaking of…
You get me?
Don't get me wrong. I'll give it a good go. I'll have a laugh. Normally at myself. But by 28 years old you realise that there are strengths and weaknesses in your skill set and unfortunately for my potential bowling career, throwing a relatively heavy ball in a relatively straight line to successfully knock down a set of pins is something that eludes me.
Seriously eludes me.
I actually just lent over to Becca and asked, 'How many pins are there in bowling anyway?' Like, Ten. Pin. Bowling. Oh my.
However, in our second game of bowling today, something remarkable happened. It could have been an actual miracle. A small one, but nevertheless…
I got a strike.
A real life, actually-knocked-all-the-pins-down strike.
I'm not sure this has ever happened before. In the history of all my abysmal-youth-work-and-social-bowling-outings, I can never remember successfully knocking all ten pins over in one go.
It was quite a shock. For everyone. (I mean, not too much as I went back to my shocking standards almost immediately…)
But still. I got a strike. It was exciting and I did a little celebratory dance around the alley.
And it got me thinking. Actually, if truth be told, me and my friends are not really the bowling superstars of the world. Some are better than others, but on the whole, there is a fair amount of time not hitting some of the pins, the right pins or any of the pins. It can get a little bit tiring. A little bit frustrating.
But yet, we still enjoy the experience.
For, I think, three main reasons.
1. We're in it together. We encourage each other, high five each other, and commiserate with each other. That's half the fun. Bowling by yourself would be a terrible thing.
2. We're in it joyfully. Even in the lack of bowling ability, the dancing and laughter and funny poses… Well, they still abound. Bowling without laughter… Man, I'm out.
3. For those (maybe rare) occasions when you actually get a strike. It makes it all worth it.
These are good reflections considering that I leave for Japan tomorrow.
Because, there are plenty of things coming my way that will probably be a little bit difficult, that I won't be very good at and that will take a fair amount of perseverance. Language learning. Setting up a Japanese bank account. Meeting new people. Settling into church/life/routine. Being bold in sharing my faith.
But these three points encourage me.
1. Me and Jesus, we're in it together. And He's also blessed me with some incredible friends, mentors and prayer support. He's blessed me with international community. And we encourage each other, high five each other and cry with each other. That's the real deal. The real purpose. Walking this whole adventure out with my Father.
2. We're in it joyfully. Even when it's hard, when there's no visible fruit and when everything stacks up against you, the dancing and laughter and joy, rooted in Holy Spirit… Well, they still abound. Keeps me in the race. Keeps me thankful for the right things.
3. For those (maybe rare) occasions when you actually get a strike. It makes it all worth it. You know what I mean right? The moments that make the whole crazy journey worth it all? Yep.
So, will I ever be good at bowling? Probably not. Let's be honest.
But am I thankful for the lessons of the day.
And so, farewell UK. The blog is going to twice a week from Japan… Let's see what's in store in this next chapter of the journey…
I LOVE YOU ALL!!