Thursday, May 05, 2016

Son Of Jephthah


We had a PTO meeting tonight and something that never happens happened: I WON A CONTEST! The prize? A $10 Starbucks card! The following is about a time when Starbucks was not so kind to me. It's from May 1, 2012.

Recently, my classes memorized these verses from James, chapter 1:
19-20: 

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 
For reasons which will become obvious very shortly, I've underlined the slow to speak part of those words of wisdom. Sometimes to make a point, we blurt things out without thought of the ramifications. This morning, we were running a  Livsey Drill, named after basketball guru Herb Livsey, in our first period basketball practice, which is every day of the school year. We were struggling with a few things. One young lady has a tendency to slap at the ball with one hand when passed to her and then pick it up, while catching it with both hands is the preferred method. I stopped what we were doing and gathered the six players around me. I had Alex stand in front of the bleachers with her right hand behind her back and her left hand up, palm towards me. To emphasize the lesson that you can't catch the ball with only one hand, particularly your non-dominant hand, I told them I was going to throw the ball at Alex's left hand and if she caught it, I would give them five dollars apiece. Obviously, there was no way she was going to catch the Wilson 28.5 sphere. But, in my teaching mode, I neglected to recall that Miss Alex is a very good volleyball player. When I threw the ball at her palm with some velocity, Alex  proceeded to tip it up with her fingers and then grabbed it out of the air with her left hand. To say the girls were delighted would be an understatement but I'm not sure if they were sure what I would do. Nearly at a loss for words, I told them I would keep my promise. In good conscience, I could not give them cash- you know those stories about coaches paying their players? And so, after school this afternoon, I drove to a nearby Starbucks and purchased six $5 gift cards which will be distributed early tomorrow. I see some frappuccinos
on the horizon for a bunch of twelve year old girls!

Look, I'm not cheap but I'm frugal with my money. I also spend money on these kids at Christmas but I was frustrated with letting my words get ahead of my thoughts.  The first thing that came to my mind was Jephthah, the Gileadite warrior in the book of Judges, who promised the Lord he would sacrifice the first thing to meet him when he returned victorious from battle. Of course, we know it was the daughter he adored who ran to her dad when he came into sight after the conquest. Like Jephthah, I spoke without thinking of the consequences. When Alex caught the basketball, I only had one option. To blow it off would be a lie and how could I expect those kids to trust me anymore? So, I swallowed hard and shelled out $30 to a nice young Starbucks' barista three hours ago and vowed I would never have to eat my words again. Well, swallow might be a more applicable phrasing here. Girls tend to remember details so this will probably stick with them for quite awhile, at least until the balance on their new card hits zero. Sorry, girls- NO REFILLS! Well, at least until I'm careless again, which with my lack of control, might be just over the horizon.

Applicable quote of the day:
Talking without thinking is like shooting without taking aim.
English Proverb


God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

1 comment:

Susan said...

Please tell me this wasn't your first time in this situation! If so, you are very blessed. I have to monitor almost everything I say to be sure I don't stick my foot in my mouth! xoxo