Things half-learned.

December 11, 2007

Softball.

I miss playing softball. For the past couple of years, the only times I’ve played have been at LBC’s Fun-in-the-Sundays. I have scars on my legs from the last two times I’ve played (the last time was over a year ago).

My dad coached the church softball team when I was younger, so I remember rooting for the church team since I was 6 or 7. When I was 13, we began attending a different church (my current church), so my dad no longer played or coached softball.

I missed the game, so I decided to try out for my high school team my freshman year. I didn’t know how to bat or throw or catch at all; up to this point, the only game I played with bases was kickball, & my only understanding of softball came from watching all those church softball games. Somehow, I still made the team. I honestly think I made the team just because the coach was my history teacher’s sister. I’m guessing my history teacher put in a good word for me.

I was voted “Most Improved Player” that year, & really, that’s nothing to boast of. I was one of the worst players on the team, so I had a whole lot of room for improvement :] That year, I started at left field; & during my first game, I panicked after picking up a grounder & threw it to the center fielder instead of to the third baseman. We lost that game.

I transferred to another high school my sophomore year, & I tried out for the team at the new school, too. That year, I played infield, & guess what award I won at the end of the season? “Most Improved Player” again! During one game, my coach signaled for me to bunt. I didn’t think I’d make the run to first, but I did. Then the pitcher overthrew to first, & my first base coach yelled, “Run to 2nd!” Then the first baseman overthrew to second . . . & on & on, until I ran home. I didn’t even realize I “hit a home-run” until my team surrounded me, screaming. I think that’s the extent of my “moments of glory” in high school softball: a home-run off of a bunt because the other team made multiple errors :]

I was definitely no softball star. But I enjoyed the sport. I still do.

I only half-learned how to play softball. & I have to admit, I enjoy the sport more than I excel in it.

Piano.

I began taking piano lessons from my church pianist when I was 5. I wasn’t particularly good at it, but I loved playing. My piano teacher taught me to read the notes, but I never actually learned music theory. I could read the notes & play them with ease, but when it came to reading the rhythm & tempo, I was at a loss.

When I was 10, the youth group pianist left to play for the adults, so my dad had another girl & me both practice to play the hymns one Sunday. The other girl bailed out, so I had to play those hymns by myself. I think my playing was more of a distraction that Sunday . . . & for many Sundays to follow. They might have been better off acapella. I could hardly get the rhythms right. So, every Sunday after church, I would sit at the piano, crying as I practiced those [then-hateful] tunes.

The other church pianist taught me how to play chords on the piano when I was about 11. That enabled me to play praise songs. (I’m so indebted to her for teaching me.)

But to this day, I can read notes just fine, but the rhythm still takes me a while to figure out, unless I’m already familiar with the song.

So, I guess you can say I only half-learned how to play the piano. & I definitely enjoy playing more than I actually excel in it.

Christ.

There are many other things that I’ve only “half-learned” in my life, other things that I enjoy but do not necessarily excel in.

But at the end of my life, I don’t want to say that I only “half-learned” Christ.

If there is anything worth excelling in, in life, it is this: knowing Him.

I pray I never leave this merely half-learned.

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things & count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ & be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith – that I may know Him & the power of His resurrection, & may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind & straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8-14).

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4 Responses to “Things half-learned.”

  1. jen Says:

    “knowing You, Jesus, knowing You. there is no greater thing…”

    that’s what this post reminded me of.

    you know what’s funny? i actually turned to that passage a few days ago, wrote it on a post-it, and stuck it on the wall next to my bed.

    thanks, tia. ❤

  2. tia Says:

    jen, i still have that card you made me before i left SD (with that song written on it + the accompanying pictures) :] i love you.

  3. jennifer lee Says:

    i ❤ this entry, really ❤ it

  4. garnet Says:

    : ) it seems like you’re on your way to prevent any half-learning of CHrist from happening~


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