Sometimes, I see something that I just have to stand back and applaud. My nephew, Kenny (who got absolutely none of his athletic ability from me) is the pitcher for his school’s baseball team. I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly gifted he is at what he does… (but that says less about his ability and more about my ineptness as a baseball fan). I think his pitches have been clocked at about a Brazillian miles per hour. No wait, a Brazillian is someone from Brazil. Anyway, he’s fast.
Like most ball players, he sometimes hurts himself and it takes him out of the game for a time of healing. He’s lately been out nursing an elbow injury, but this past Saturday, they finally let him play two innings. He gave up no hits and struck out five batters! On top of that, he had a 100% on base percentage with two singles. To top it all off, he also hit a home run (about 350 ft)!
Needless to say, everyone in the family, including me, is busting buttons with pride. However, that’s not why I am writing about him. I’m writing to tell you what most of the folks in or out of the game don’t know… inside Kenny’s hat is a Bible verse. He wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Phil 4:13. When he stepped up to the mound, he took off his hat and read the verse to himself, said a prayer. Then he went to work applying his talent, and setting out to demonstrate the power of those words.
Is this passage in Philippians about winning ball games? I think not. It is about depending on the strength of God to help us in everything we do. In the game of life, I need God’s help, but sometimes I forget. I proceed with delusions that I can manage just fine on my own. He frequently reminds me that I cannot. Frequently He uses others to show me… sometimes it’s a friend… sometimes family… This time it’s my nephew. Thanks Kenny, for reminding me what a great God we serve. I’m proud of you.
When I started this blog, I had aspirations of writing a book. I decided that this would be a good first “baby” step in the process. I still have a book in me, but I realize more than ever that it will require a discipline that I have not yet demonstrated. I am going on record here and now that I plan to write a blog a week. It may be something really heavy on my heart or not. I don’t know. Of course, my blogs so far have been varied and don’t seem to have any rhyme or reason behind them. That’s the way I think and the way I process things.
I saw something one morning this week that I found to be quite bizzare. As my carpool buddy and I were driving to work south on I-85, we saw going north, a row of police or highway patrol cars with blue lights flashing. They had effectively stopped traffic going that direction. On second glance, they were moving at what I guess was the speed limit. There were no cars in front of them and a mass of bumper to bumper traffic following them. We quickly turned on the radio for news of what was happening. At the first update, we heard that it was a “rolling roadblock”. I have never heard of such a thing.
I googled for “rolling roadblock” and found two definitions, neither of which fit what we saw. the most common definition is what might happen if the police wanted to apprehend someone who would not pull over. They could surround the car and force it to stop. The second was from places that enforce the “no passing on the right” rule of driving. In this case, someone who was driving slowly in the left lane is effetively a “rolling roadblock” since no one can pass them.
I don’t know what the police were trying to accomplish by this other than a display of force. If their goal was to reduce speed on the interstate, they accomplished that for the duration of their little game. If they wanted to reduce speed overall, they failed miserably. Only the first few cars would have known what was happening. Everyone else would merely assume it was typical slow traffic. This appears to be a silly show of force that will result in doing little more than angering drivers.
If the law enforcement officers are really serious about slowing people down, I believe they should 1) Actually enforce the laws that are out there. Give out tickets to speeders. Most of us don’t want to get a ticket and we will slow down. 2) Model the behavior you are trying to inspire. No one is inspired to slow down by law enforcement personnel speeding. Come on, show us what you are looking for.