Volleyball practice starts today. The drills and dreams of a new season begin. And for those kids who make the move to high school and get that varsity jersey they are in for a rude awakening. There are people out there who DON'T want you to win. When you walk into opposing gyms there will be students and parents alike who will do whatever they can to rattle you and make you miss your serve, think a ball is out that is in and vice versa, and do whatever they can to give their team an advantage.
To combat this we have a drill, usually done at the end of practice, where players have to serve the ball over and in. Not to a specific spot on the court as they do normally, just over and into the square. To simulate what it will be like in an opposing gym down 23-24, the rest of the team will scream, tease, ridicule, do whatever they can to get that server to miss the serve. (Our kids are too nice to successfully heckle their teammates. "You have weird shoes." Sigh...) So the server lets fly with all of these voices wishing for their demise. In a match it is do or die, and the voices yelling hope it's die.
"They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim their words like deadly arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent man;
they shoot at him suddenly, without fear."
These people exist in our real world as well. While they may not be heckling you as you work at your job or try to distract you as you drive down the road, they are out there "sharpening their tongues" ready to "aim their words" when the time comes to "ambush" you. The ambush is the scary part. In a match you know they will try to distract you if it's tight on that last point, but what about if you're up 22-17, will they then? How about at 10-10? 5-0? Will it be a student? How about an angry mom? A second grader whose teacher didn't tell her how to act a volleyball match?
That's how it works in life. You just don't when and where the attack will come from. It could come when you are at your highest or at your lowest. It may be that what you thought was a wonderful act of kindness is attacked as being nosy and intrusive. You may think that it is best to stay out of something and the attack comes because you are so uncaring.
But we are not called to hide from the ambush. You still have to serve the ball. As you go, you follow God. You serve and love Him and others the best you can and how He leads you. When the attacks come, He will take care of it.
"But God will shoot them with arrows;
suddenly they will be struck down.
He will turn their own tongues against them
and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in scorn."
Our job is not to attack the attackers. We are to stay the course. Get the "ace." God will take care of those who lie in ambush. Our job is to continue to serve and love. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)