I’m Thinking of a Number…

A few days ago my wife and I were at the Little League ball fields getting ready to watch a couple kids from church play “blast ball.” In case you don’t know what that is (I didn’t until a couple weeks ago), it is a form of t-ball. The batter hits the ball off the tee (as well as a four-year-old can), and must reach first base, which is also the only base (and it honks when stepped on!), before someone from the opposing team, in a flury of little arms and legs, retrieves the ball, raises it high in the air, and shouts, “BLAST!”

Anyway, as Sara and I were walking toward the bleachers we were greeted by a baseball that landed harmlessly but uncomfortably near us. Two gentlemen were practicing pitching and hitting in the space between two fields, and the balls were flying towards bleachers, and cars, and families in lawn chairs. One such ball very nearly hit one such family, and the father in that family had all he could take. He stood up, spun around, and said in a very stern and angry voice, “That better not happen again, or we will have a problem.” His cool-headed wife proceeded to suggest that the two men practice on the adjacent field, which was not being used…and they did.

I would not want to have been that angry father when the rest of the crew that these men were playing with showed up: they were all (including these two men) mentally handicapped. They just didn’t know any better. And, although he could have handled the situation more positively, that father didn’t know any better, either…because, just like you and me, he is not a mind-reader.

We are quick to judge other people, though. We don’t know their motives or reasons for the things they do, but we assume they must be evil, ignorant, or just plain dumb. And we react appropriately…or inappropriately, as the case may be.

So, I have a possible solution. The next time someone does something that angers you, ask them to pick a number between one and one million. If you guess right, then you must be a mind-reader, and are officially qualified to vent your righteous indignation. Otherwise, I suggest keeping your cool and trying to find out what you can do to help this person that hurt you.

Can you guess what number I’m thinking of? Hint: it rhymes with pen.

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5 thoughts on “I’m Thinking of a Number…

  1. Clint,

    This made me think of a great lesson I heard from Keith Parker of the Hendersonville, TN congregation. He’s my favorite preacher. You can go here:

    http://www.morristownchurchofchrist.com/sermons.html

    and under “Keith Parker” listen to the lesson titled “May I borrow your glasses?” It is exactly along the lines of your post. He talks about a man who he thought was sleeping through his sermon. When the man told him he really enjoyed his lesson Keith wanted to get upset. Then he realized that the man’s eyes were still shut – he was blind. There are several other examples that really make you think.

    I found myself looking foolish the other day in this same way. It is something we all have to keep in mind as we interact with those around us so we make sure that all can see Christ in us.

    Thanks for the good reminder!

  2. A good lesson for all of us to not jump to conclusions…about anything! As you’ve said, none of us have the ability to know anyone’s thoughts or what a person’s circumstances are until we ask the right questions or know the rest of their story.

    Thanks for sharing!

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