Saturday, February 15, 2014

Day 46- A Cartwheeling First

This morning Hannah Grace asked if she could help me do a "first."  "Yes," I say. That's part of what this year of "firsts" is about; helping me show my children that following Jesus is an exciting adventure and giving me extra incentive to engage with my children in fun activities. Let's go, Hannah Grace.

She says she wants to teach me how to do a cartwheel.  Ahh, a cartwheel, eh?  See, this is where I would have probably said no a few months back. I can't ever remember doing a cartwheel and I'm pretty sure my age is not the ideal age to start.  But hey, this is a year of "firsts" so I agree to let her teach me how to do a cartwheel. 

Me and my coach

Stretching seemed like a good idea

Hannah Grace suggested that I stretch some.  I had already started doing that.  It really seemed like a good idea.  Then, Hannah Grace walked me slowly through the steps to a good cartwheel.  I asked several questions along the way.  The one I did not ask but thought about was, "What is the possibility of a fairly serious injury here?"  The other thought I had was that if I had to miss preaching tomorrow because of this I was going to get laughed at pretty hard.

Hannah Grace made it look pretty easy.  I already knew that she had been doing this for years and also had a pretty good idea she was more flexible than me.  I figured it would be harder for me than it looked like it was for her.  It was time for me to try.  I was a little fearful on the first one that something might tear or break so I went pretty easy.  No serious injury resulted and so I decided it to try again.  Coach Hannah Grace was very encouraging and said it was good and that I should try to get my legs higher.  So, we practiced several more times.  It seems that I have trouble getting my legs higher.  After several tries, I asked the family to give me a score for a first time cartwheeler.  Coach Hannah Grace give me a 7, Joel gave me a 5.6, and Laura gave me a 5.  I really thought I'd get a better score from the one closer to my age but she was the toughest judge.  Who would have thought?

As you can tell, I held back some as to not show Hannah Grace up too much.

It was fun to do this. Joel was the photographer.  Hannah Grace was a very encouraging coach.  She never scolded me. She was also very patient and focused on what I was doing well.  I could not have asked for a better coach.

This reminded me that the first time we try something it usually feels a bit odd.  That's true when we are reaching out to others with Jesus' love as well. The first time I shared my faith, prayed out loud in a church service, carried my Bible to  class in college, visited a church that I was not a member of, preached, gave my testimony, taught a Bible class or something like that it felt a bit odd.  Usually if it was something God had called me to do, the Holy Spirit would equip me and refine me as I continued to pursue Him.

The other thing is that there are some things I'm just not cut out to do. I'm never going to be a great cartwheeler. Have you ever seen one of those people who try out for American Idol or America's Got Talent by singing and they are just terrible?  The judges tell them they are not very good and they get all offended and say something like, "I'll prove those judges wrong. They don't know anything."  Actually, the judges do know something. That's why they are judges.  Perhaps that person should go home and instead of working on singing to prove the judges wrong they might should look into an art class, try a sport, or photography.  W.C Fields is credited with saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a fool about it." If you really can't sing, then don't do solos at church.  Cook a pie for the fellowship or go on a construction mission trip. Don't let what you can't do get in the way. Don't be frustrated because someone can do something that you can't do very well. Find what God wants you to do and do it to the glory of Jesus Christ.

Not cartwheeling for the abundant life


3 things I thank God for
1. God did not call me to cartwheel
2. Winter Olympics; particularly the Christians that are there sharing Christ
3. Making family memories in my year of "firsts"

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