Does your mind often go to the worst possible outcome? I thought that I was a certified glass-is-half-full kind of optimist, but I learned last night that I sometimes expect the glass to be empty and broken! I was rink-side at the Gardens Ice House with my daughter as she skated beautifully for her weekly class. Everything was going along splendidly until the time came for her skating test. I lost control of my senses and became a nervous wreck.
Selah was in line with the other girls who were performing their figure skating skills that are appropriate for her level and everyone seemed to be doing very well. I glanced up from the book that I was pretending to read and noticed that her coach pulled Selah aside for some personalized instruction during the testing period. Oh, no; my child was failing so miserably that she needed to be pulled from the skating line! I was dying inside as I watched my courageous daughter perform a difficult skill for the coach over and over again. How was she able to keep her composure? I was ready to run onto the ice and rescue her when she dissolved into tears. And, yet, she continued to attempt the special spin for her coach.
At the end of the class, I made sure that I was standing well away from other parents and skaters so that Selah could cry with me privately. She had a brave smile on her face as she approached and I wondered when she had matured so quickly. Then she opened her hand. In her palm was the coveted “Basic 8” patch that she had been attempting to earn during the test. If my daughter were watching closely enough she would have seen the blood drain from my face, followed quickly by a crimson glow of embarrassment over expecting the worst for her. She saw confusion on my face and quickly explained that her coach pulled her out to allow her to test for the next level! The spin that Selah was attempting was the final skill that she needs to master to graduate beyond the more advanced “Freestyle 1.” What I expected to be the worst day of my daughter’s skating career was actually her best day on the ice!
Why do we do that? Why do we sometimes expect and fear the worst for ourselves and our loved ones? We ask for good things from our Father, but then we prepare ourselves for a worst case scenario. Jesus posited an interesting point of logic, recorded in Luke 11, when he spoke of how we know how to give good things to our children when they ask for good things. They may request bread, fish and an egg, but do we give them a stone, snake or scorpion instead? Of course not! And if we, who are part of Adam’s sinful race, know how to give good gifts, how much more does our Father in Heaven know how to give good gifts?
Don’t miss the best Gift that Jesus says will be given to those who ask for good things. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" - (Luke 11:13 NKJV) Did you notice the Gift that the Father will give? The presence of the Holy Spirit will provide the grace to accept stone or bread, fish or snake, egg or scorpion. Ice skating is Selah’s athletic proving ground, and it is her father’s spiritual proving ground.