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The Daly Planet

Whispers from Heaven

Free Ball
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By Carol Einarsson | 07/20/2008
Category: Whispers from Heaven

You probably don't know this about me, but I play billiards online. Pretty much every day. I play via the Nintendo Wi-Fi network with Clubhouse Games, and it's a game similar to 9-ball that I play. To understand what I've learned about life lately, you have to know some of the basics of 9-ball.

The goal is to get the 9 ball in the pocket (hence the name), but there are rules you must follow to achieve this. Primarily, the cue ball must first strike the lowest-numbered ball on the table before it hits any other ball. If the cue ball hits another ball first, it's a foul. If the cue ball goes in the pocket, it's a scratch.

If you foul or scratch, your opponent gets a "free ball" and can place the cue ball anywhere on the table to begin his turn. It's human nature to take that cue ball and put it where you think you can achieve the most, whether it's to get closer to the lowest-numbered ball, or to align your shot for a sure sink of the 9 ball.

And that's where my lesson began.

nine ball Pictures, Images and Photos

Y'see, I started thinking about that "free ball" and how I usually move it to where I think it will serve me best. And I also started thinking about the times when I have chosen NOT to move the free ball. It seems that almost every time I opt to play the ball from where it lands rather than to move it where I think is best, better things happen than if I'd moved it.

The other day, a whisper from heaven gave me a thought that my life is sometimes like billiards.

There is chaos all around, there is constant movement and change, and now and again we are all faced with a dilemma: should I just let this play out or should I try and fix it myself? Should I let God's plan for my life run as He intends, or should I play a bit of a cocky know-it-all and think that I know best how to reset the situation for my own betterment?

When God sets up the table, it's as it ought to be. When I rearrange it, imperfection prevails. And once again I'm reminded that everything happens for a reason. Yes, I sometimes feel like the cue ball surrounded by high-numbered balls that will bring me failure if I so much as bump any of them, but the lesson I'm missing at that moment is that the goal is not just to hit a low-numbered ball. The goal is to trust in the Lord enough to know that whatever happens is His will for me. Failure is not failure if it grows my trust in God's will.

Maybe the goal is not really to get the 9 ball in the pocket as much as it is to trust that God is still in control, and even if I've created the perfect shot, if God doesn't want that ball off the table, that ball won't be off the table. The better news, though, is that sometimes even when we're busy with other trials in life, we can turn around and find that thanks to God's grace, that troubling 9 ball is already in the pocket.



04/07/2009 5:33 pm (1)

Could you private message me to explain what you mean. I do not play that game so I do not understand the pool references. I do not want to be singled out for the questions I may have about this.

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