Monday, February 21, 2011

A Man's Reach Should Exceed His Grasp, or What's a Heaven For?

Ambition is a healthy thing. It’s good to strive for something that’s not quite attainable at the moment, to work your way towards a goal that’s slightly out of reach, to stretch beyond what you thought you could do. And I’m proud that Ryan has already set his sights above his current skill level.

Let me back up a bit and explain that Ryan’s favorite part of church on Sundays, although he does love playing in the nursery with the other little kids, is coffee hour after the service, when he gets to play basketball in the gym with the bigger kids. In fact, this morning as I brought him down from the nursery, I held his hand and started to walk him toward the snack table, but he pulled away and headed directly for the gym. There were no other kids there today, but he didn’t hesitate to head for the pews at the back of the room where the basketballs live. He pulled one out, toddled up underneath the nearest basket, looked up over his head straight at the basket…and blooped the ball directly in front of himself, about two and a half feet off the ground. But he had his sights set way up high!

Undaunted at his miss, he retrieved the ball, moved back under the basket, and tried again. He moved to another, slightly lower basket, and repeated the process several times. He tried grunting while he heaved the ball. He tried standing a bit further away, or a bit closer, or a bit off to the side. He tried an underhand toss and an overhand toss. But every single shot, he had his eyes firmly fixed on that basket, high overhead. Looking at his face, you could tell there was no doubt in his mind that he could get that ball through that hoop, just like Daddy and the bigger boys. So he just kept trying and trying without losing hope.

I hope that he continues to have such determination and persistence throughout his life. I hope he fixes his eyes on whatever prize he decides on and keeps working at it without losing hope when he doesn’t reach it at first. I hope he never doubts his own ability to reach any goal he sets for himself. And whenever that ball finally swishes through that basket, I’ll be right there cheering for him. Because I’ll never doubt his ability to reach those goals, either.

Bookmark and Share