“This is probably the most exciting night of my life,” I reply. “I’ve practically dreamed about this happening since I was a child.”
My Dad’s friends laugh at my answer to their question of whether I am excited or not.
Excited? For a four-year-old this is like winning the lottery. My Dad finally took me bowling with his best buddies. I guess that means you can call me one of my Dad’s best buddies!
My Dad helps me change out my shoes for some very ugly ones that the lady gave us when we paid.
“Dad, do I have to wear these new shoes?”
“I’m afraid so. They help you when you go to release the ball.”
With my new pair of shoes on, I am finally ready to begin my bowling career.
“Would you like to go first?” One of Dad’s friends ask me.
“Absolutely! I can’t wait!”
“You’re up then!”
I jump up onto the wooden platform where everyone has placed their bowling balls on some sort of machine. I take my ball from the rack and with all my might carry the ball toward the lane where you’re suppose to roll it.
This process is very arduous and I can’t believe how heavy the ball is! Wow! Everything within me seems to be straining to keep the ball from dropping on the floor.
Luckily, Dad has been holding the ball with me the whole time though I’m sure I did most of the heavy lifting.
“Okay, we are going to gently roll the ball down the lane together,” my Dad explains. “So on the count of three, we will let go of the ball.”
“One, two, three!” I scream as I release the ball with all that is within me.
“Dad?” I ask after a few seconds, “is the ball suppose to be moving that slow?”
“Just wait, it will get down there.”
Slowly but surely the ball rolls down the lane. It seems like it is taking forever. My mind wanders for a second while we are waiting. I notice other bowlers throwing their balls with force down the lanes and almost crushing the pins.
Suddenly I jerk my attention back to my ball just in time to see it drop into the gutter before reaching the pins.
“Yay!!!” I exclaim. “I landed my ball right in the gutter! That’s hard to do, Dad. Isn’t it?”
My dad smiles at me. “It sure is, son.”
I run back to my Dad’s friends to tell them the amazing thing I have just done.
“Hey come back here. You have one more time to throw the ball.”
I turn around to see my Dad holding my bowling ball. How in the world did he get my bowling ball again? I shrug my shoulders and run back to take the ball off his hands.
Again, me and my Dad get another gutter ball!
“Wow, I’m pretty good at this! I bet you won’t have to help me next time, Dad,” I say.
I don’t want to hurt his feelings or anything, but I’m pretty sure I can handle the ball alone.
“I’ll keep helping you. Maybe when you get a little older you can do it alone.”
I take my seat after having bowled two straight gutter balls.
I watch as my dad and his friends each bowl. I try to keep encouraging them but frankly they aren’t very good. They keep on hitting pins and getting strikes.
“It’s a good thing we aren’t playing baseball,” I say toward the end of the game. “You guys would be out.”
“You’re right,” my Dad laughs. “You would be beating us in baseball wouldn’t you?”
“Yeah, I kinda am in bowling too,” I point out trying not to get too puffed up.
Finally the game is over! I got 20 points and dad got 160.
“Dad, I beat you!”
Dad looks at the scores and can’t believe his eyes. Apparently this is a shock for him.
“Well, I guess you did!”
I feel so proud. I didn’t even need to look at the other guys’ scores because I knew they kept getting strikes. The only real competition was basically between my Dad and me, and I won!
“How about some ice cream now? There’s that shop just around the corner,” my Dad suggests.
“Yes! I love ice cream!”
“Let’s just give your shoes back to the lady, and we will be on our way.”
“Wait, what?!” I stop in my tracks. “I thought they were mine to keep.”
My Dad laughs. “No, silly. We just rented them. We have to give them back so other people can use them.”
I rush to my chair in a panic and quickly take my shoes off. “Yuck! You mean other people’s feet have been in these! Why didn’t you warn me! I hope they at least disinfect them, right??”
“I’m sure they disinfect them,” my Dad laughs.
I feel appalled that my Dad had me put on such a health hazard.
“I can’t wait to get a cup of that pecan praline ice cream,” one of Dad’s friends comment.
And just like that I forget about the shoes and am onto ice cream flavors.
Isn’t it amazing that God let’s us “bowl” with him? He decides to partner with people to bring His love and kingdom on the earth! He uses us to lay hands on the sick, to cast out demons, and to preach the kingdom!
We can sometimes think we have it all figured out. We think we know the “rules” (even if they are backwards) of how God moves and yet sometimes we don’t realize that He’s the one doing the heavy lifting. Haha! We are just the second set of hands on the bowling ball! His hands are so much bigger and stronger. His hands hold the power! He just chooses to use our hands with His.
The shoes also mean something but I’m not sure what yet! So, feel free to comment and let me know if anything else speaks to you!