“29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” I Corinthians 12:29-31
Since Cole was four years old, he has played baseball. He started out, of course, in tee ball: learning the sport, gauging his strength, working on his skills. Jase and I spent many nights at the city ballpark walking (or running) between fields to watch Cole bat on one side of the park while Reed was playing catcher on the other side. That’s when my crock-pot cooking skills reached an all time high! With no time to cook before or during games, I learned to put on something in the morning, swing by the house to grab it while the boys changed into their uniforms, and we would eat tender pork chops or vegetable soup sitting in the stands. It was a lot better than concession stand food, that’s for sure! So much time was put into and around baseball season. And what fun it was! Mia especially learned to adapt to playing in the stands and making new friends with other siblings who also “lived” at the ballpark.
When school ball started, the intensity rose to a different level, and the pride that they had wearing their uniform and representing their school showed at each game. Cole had honed his skills to becoming a very talented pitcher. With his calm demeanor and cool head, he showed on the mound that nothing could rattle him. He was very successful…
Until he tore his labrum.
This kid pitched an entire season his sophomore year and never complained. Jase knew something was off and kept questioning him about it. Cole would just shrug it off. At the end of the season after his last game, Jase sat him down and said, “Cole, does anything in your body hurt? Anything at all?”
Cole said, “Well, my shoulder does feel a little stiff.”
Jase checked him out, interrogated him to the fullest, and told me that I needed to take him to the orthopedic doctor, which I did. That prompted an MRI, which showed the tear in his labrum. Surgery was expected. That summer, Cole’s labrum was repaired, and we all expected nothing less than a long, but full, recovery. He worked so hard that next season, but unfortunately, his shoulder never recovered to the strength it previously had. As his senior year was approaching fast, he made a conscientious decision to sit baseball out his senior year. As a mom who actually looked forward to sitting on those cold, hard stadium seats every season, I was devastated! Reed’s athletic career had been over for over a year, and I was so anticipating a fabulous senior year of watching Cole soar to the top! I had to get over that rather quickly.
In September, Cole walked in the house one day after school and announced, “Mom, I joined the soccer team.”
Are you kidding me? I’ve lived the past 20 years of my life having successfully avoided winter soccer. And now this?
“Oh, wow, that’s great, Cole!”
And you would you know that he had quite the season scoring quite a few goals? He did so well that he made All District Team! So, he decided to add a couple of more new sports to his list: tennis and golf. He excelled in tennis and is playing in the State Championship Tournament starting on Thursday. And during the Senior Awards Ceremony this morning, he received Academic All State in Tennis.
This year was a season of seeing one talent fall away but be replaced by three more, two of which were honors-worthy. I’m so proud of the wisdom Cole showed in realizing his life-long dream of pitching was no longer a possibility. He came to the conclusion long before I did. I am also proud of him for stepping out of his comfort zone and trying something new. Not all of us can be star pitchers, but Cole would have never known his potential in soccer and tennis had he not said goodbye to the old and hello to new possibilities.
Is there something you’ve felt has run its course in your life? Maybe there is something (or Someone) tugging at your heart that is leading you to serve God in a new and greater area of your life. Maybe you’ve developed a new skill over the past few years and it is high time to put it to use. Ask God to lead you in how to use it for him. It may be something you never thought was possible. How exciting to watch God work!
Have a wonderful week!