It’s one of the goofiest plays in baseball. A relatively routine pop fly goes to say a mid-depth part of the field, causing three separate players to converge on the ball while it’s in the air. Now mind you, each of those three players are likely being paid in the millions of dollars to stand on that field and catch the ball when it’s in the air. While I realize that’s an oversimplification, that’s essentially what they do. On average, each of those players gets probably one or two of those opportunities a game. They may have a game where they never get an opportunity to catch a pop fly. So you’d think the routineness of it, coupled with the infrequency of it, would yield a near-perfect success rate.
Well, it does. But, there are times when the goofiness kicks in. Three players converge on the spot where the ball is going to land. They all call it … “I got it, I got it.” Problem is, all of them may call it, and while these guys are professionals and the absolute best at their sport on the planet, they’re also human. Each calls it and yet realizes that each other called it. And “plunk,” the ball hits the ground right in between all three of them. It’s been the stuff of blooper shows for decades. It’s like they said, “I got it, I got it … I don’t got it.”
Most of the time, there’s one particular player who is in the best position, facing the right way, who sees the ball better than the other two and that player calls off the others. The others, of course, have to allow that player to make the play who’s best equipped to and in doing so they have to back off and let him catch the ball. It’s the times when they don’t that the ball goes “plunk.”
Unfortunately, it’s how life works at times as well. This past week, I read through Matthew 10 – 26 and as I mentioned last week it is through The Message paraphrase. Incidentally, it’s interesting to read through that paraphrased version … I would not rely on it for in-depth Bible study or for doctrinal matters, but it is a nice supplement to reading the Bible in a more diligently-translated version. Anyhow, I camped out on Matthew 14:15-21 because it thematically struck me along the lines of the “I got it, I got it … I don’t got it” concept from a life perspective.
Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper.” But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper.” “All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish,” they said. Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.
Life can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s funny, too, because a lot of the time we take things upon ourselves thinking, “I can handle it. I don’t need anyone’s help. Getting help will only show that I’m weak. I’m not weak.” Sort of like thinking, “I got it, I got it.”
In the case of the apostles being worried about feeding the 5,000, it was related … while they may not have been over-attributing to themselves an ability to do something without help, they clearly were evaluating the situation in that way. They defaulted into the realm of, “I don’t got it.”
What both situations demonstrate is that regardless of what you “have,” you have enough. It depends on how you define what you have. A lot of times we don’t think we have enough, know enough, are equipped enough to serve God’s people. “There’s NO WAY we can feed 5,000 people with only five loaves of break and a couple fish!” All the disciples needed was whatever they had, plus God. God used what they had and multiplied it to what they needed … more than they needed. The enemy wants us to think we don’t have enough that we can’t work or accomplish anything. God says “if you have me, you have more than enough!”
I don’t realize this often enough. So much of the time, my default position is to try to handle things on my own, to see things from only my point of view. If a tough situation comes up, I spend my energy, time, and effort trying to manage situations through my own strength, only to find that I’m incapable. I holler out, “I got it, I got it!” But not too long after, I have to concede “I don’t got it!” And plunk! The ball of the situation bounces haplessly before me, uncaught.
What if, instead, I realize there’s one particular Player who is in the best position, facing the right way, who sees the ball better than I and others around me do. I can then let that Player call me off to make the catch, to successfully handle the situation before the ball drops. Before it goes “plunk.”
That’s our God, folks! He’s always in the best and most advantageous position. He always faces the right way and has a far better vantage point of the ball while it’s in the air. He never loses sight of it, never loses it in the sun, and never let’s the ball “plunk” on the ground. He knows where the ball is, knows where I am, knows where the other players are, and always … ALWAYS … makes the play. He’s got it.
The key for us is to let Him make the play. To say, “You got it,” long before we frivolously and foolishly say, “I got it, I got it … I don’t got it!”
Soli Deo gloria!