The Trouble With The Curve

I recently went to see Trouble With The Curve with some friends. And while I think I could have lived without a mental image of Clint Eastwood peeing and eating spam from a can, the movie has its messages.

The movie is part a soliloquy to grumpy old men, part Dr. Phil, a tribute to a dream lost and part homage to a love of the game. In the movie, there is a prolific young (if not somewhat immature) hitter whom all the scouts are clamoring over. He can hit anything the high school pitchers throw at him and knock it out of the park. In the end, however, Clint Eastwood’s character advises his team not to sign him because he has “trouble with the curve.”

I’ve never heard a more apt statement to describe life and the way it impacts some people’s faith. It’s usually not the things we can see coming at us; for better or worse it’s the curveballs that set most folks back on their heels. I’ve known champion sluggers who met every obstacle, exceeded every expectation, knocked every direct challenge out of the park, had a seemingly perfect life and was then thrown one teensy curveball that nearly derailed their entire faith.

Why is this? Because we underestimate the curveball? Because we forget there will be curveballs? Because it doesn’t seem fair?

I realize this blog post will be of no comfort to someone who has, in fact, just been thrown a curve. I have a few friends who ought to be getting pretty good at hitting them by now, having probably received more curveballs that regular pitches in the past year.

When combing through God’s word, it’s human nature for our mind to latch on to verses such as:

Ask and you shall receive.
Seek and you shall find.
Present everything before the throne by petition and prayer.
How much more does your heavenly Father desire to give you good things? and
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.

We all seem to overlook:

In this world you will have trouble…
But take heart, I have overcome the world.

Some people are thrown more curveballs than others, and I’m not going to try and speculate on why that is. When life throws you a curveball…and it will…just remember why we are all playing the game to begin with – the love of the game. Or more correctly, the love of God. The invitation and sometimes inescapable mandate to play a messy game.

Anyone else out there currently having trouble with the curve?