I couldn't believe it, even as it was happening. We bounced a rubber ball against a bell for an hour.
Before you scoff, I believe you've been there yourself. Maybe it was before Netflix was a thing, and there were no Olympics to watch. Perhaps you were bored beyond belief. But all of the sudden you found yourself doing something that should be simple over and over again. Add a twist, and you suddenly find yourself challenged to do something admittedly less than spectacular.
I doubt Whaley Ball will ever find its' way into the Olympics. (The game is named after the person at camp whose memorial bell we were using to play the game. Yes, we played on a memorial bell.) I also don't see myself training to get better. But on that last night at camp, teens and leaders worked together to bounce a small rubber ball against a bell.
How was this challenging? We couldn't let the ball drop to the ground. And we had to throw the ball again while the sound of the bell still rung.
Soon 15 people were unified to go completely around the circle. We spanned a few decades in age, but in that moment, age didn't matter. We were each invested and one of us wanted to be the person that kept us all from failure.
On that night, I chalked up the entertainment value to tired leaders and campers after a long week at camp. Only the craving of ice cream tore us away from this activity. Otherwise, we might still be playing.
Now that I've had time to consider it more, I think I know why we all were so invested. There was a challenge to be overcome (bounce the ball to everyone at least once without the ball being dropped). It was cooperative. It was team. It was engaging.
It was harder than it looked and our ultimate success depended on everyone doing their part.
Does that sound similar to anything you're involved in? A sports team? A business? A church? A ministry? A family? None of these are successful in isolation. For even those who compete in solo sporting events work with a trainer.
Every area of my life depends on someone else. And the success of any of it depends on Someone, who initially defined solitude as not good. (Genesis 2:18)
So look around. Who are you depending on? Who is depending on you? Perhaps it's time to lift your head up, Maybe someone around you needs encouragement. Forgiveness may need to be offered...and accepted.
Stop thinking just about yourself. We were born to be together.