Life Lessons from a Busted Ball

Every year I bring balls from America in my Christmas barrel. This is because kids love to play games of course, and traditionally Friday is “games day” for the children I work with.

The other reason I bring balls from America is because busted balls are a regular occurrence.

The balls in Saint Vincent are of a lower quality so within about a month they will usually bust. One reason for this is because of use, but it’s actually because boys are very rough playing with the balls. It’s in their nature to love playing football, and kick the ball as hard as they possibly can.

Occasionally even an American ball gets busted which is okay.

I only ask the children to do one thing……

Let me know when it happens.

A Neighbour boy who lives just across the street will come to me asking if he can borrow a ball every once in a while. As a rule, I don’t do that, I’ll play with them, and then take the ball home. But he’s always been trustworthy.

Last week I let him borrow one of my balls and didn’t worry when it wasn’t brought back (sometimes I have to ask for it). The next day however I saw the ball busted and thrown over the church gate.

I immediately confronted the boys that were with him that day to figure out what had happened, and then him. As you can imagine there are conflicting stories about who busted it!

I calmly explained to each boy that now NONE OF THEM got to play with my balls! When they told me that wasn’t fair because they didn’t bust it, I reminded them nobody had come to tell me what had happened.

Within that experience I was trying to teach a life lesson

everyone makes mistakes…….

But few people own up to those mistakes.

See it wasn’t exactly the busted ball that bothered me (I have others) but the fact that they threw it over the gate hoping I wouldn’t find it. The right thing to do would be to come as a group and apologize for what had happened.

Beneath that life lesson is a deeper truth….Your mistake cannot be hidden forever.

It’s easy when we’ve messed up to act like it never happened (throw the ball over the gate) and go on our way. But eventually our mistakes or sinful actions will be revealed. It’s far better for us to admit what we have done wrong right away.

May the Lord help us take ownership of the busted balls in life willingly instead of being forced to confess after the fact.

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