Gone are school playgrounds covered in knee-scraping asphalt, bludgeoning swing seats and “head injuries on a stick” known as tetherball.
For those unfamiliar with this violent game, a volleyball is hung from a tall metal pole with a rope (tether). The players on opposite sides of the pole try to hit the ball—one clockwise, one counterclockwise—until one player winds the ball all the way around the pole so that it is stopped by the rope. A steel pole. A heavy ball flying directly at the contestants’ faces. What possibly could go wrong?!
Have you ever felt like a human tetherball? Life punches you in the face as you reel in the opposite direction, then you’re struck again and propelled the other way. You’re in constant motion, being struck this way and then that. The only thing that keeps you from totally flying out of control—and into traffic—is the rope that anchors you to the center. Better to be a tetherball than a volleyball flattened by a passing truck.
So are you a volleyball or a tetherball? Neither is an appealing option. But as a tetherball, you’re safe from rolling into the street and flying into the school cafeteria dumpster. I’ve had my share of “hits” in life: cancer, unemployment, a kidney stone (one is quite enough, thank you), family crises, etc. But I have always had my faith as a center of my life. God is my pole. Faith is my rope. And my life is the battered ball.
The apostle Paul writes about the safety of being tethered to God’s great love:
If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?
[No] I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31-32, 35, 38-39).
Life is not easy as a human tetherball! But it is safe and secure in the love of God.
Copyright 2015 © James N. Watkins
Photo from tetherballsports.com
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