Thursday, December 11, 2008

Batter Up! -- Hope Chronicles 83

Have you ever noticed a phrase that you've heard all your life but never known the origins? One such phrase for me is in the form of a question, "Who's gonna bat for me?" My take on it is that someone cannot bat for some reason so a fellow teammate bats in his place. (This may or may not be accurate.)

Recently, I was surprised by some confrontation on a issue in my life. The issue is confrontation and how I respond. I'll admit that I do get stubborn but it was hard to hear that I get mean with my words. I've been challenged to look at this area and make amends.

I've wanted to respond with a "Yes, but. . . ." In other words, "I'll own my stuff when they own their stuff." Which a friend pointed out is the problem. She thinks I need to just own my stuff and not worry about their stuff. My rallying point is, "But that isn't fair. There's a double standard here . . . ."

As I've thought and prayed about it, I've realized that my attitude is really born out of fear. The relentless question in my mind has been, "But who will bat for me?" When I was a child, my dad was fairly abusive. My mom knew about what was going on but didn't step into protect me. I learned this lesson: if I don't protect myself then no one will. And I think it is the mode I operate out of today. When someone confronts me the barriers go up and I peek through the slot in the heavily reinforced door.

Admitting my part without a respective commitment from them, seems like making myself vulnerable and defenseless.

This summer I read Gary Haugen's book Just Courage. It's a wonderful little book but really challenging. The final challenge is "Do you want to be safe or brave?" Haugen writes

". . . . I'd like to be brave, but I'd also like to be safe. My heavenly Father, however, loves me deeply enough to tell me the truth. He says I can't be both brave and safe. He wants me to be clear that I have to decide -- and he wants me to choose to be brave, which means choosing not to be safe."

The challenge is that God wants us to be brave knowing that our real safety (maybe not in the concrete ways we want) resides in Jesus and what He did for us on the cross.

So, please pray with me as I begin to look at my relentless concern about who is batting for me? Jesus was and is batting for me. There is hope in that.

But I need the courage, the bravery, of letting my defenses down. At the heart of the issue is trusting that God has my best in mind and is batting for me. I'm not sure how to do that, so your prayers would be appreciated.


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