The South African cricketer, Hashim Amla, said in an interview, ‘I don’t look for where the fieldsmen are; I look for where the gaps are’.
What a good piece of advice for life! Regardless of the type of game we’re playing, we want to get our strike through! Between the goals, past the opponent’s bat, around the defender and beyond the stands, into the net, or through those important goal-posts.
We need to look out for the opportunities. If we know a fielder is a fast runner, we should make allowances for that and hit the ball hard. When we’re observing the field, we can quickly pick out a pattern, embed that situation on our mind and go for the well-timed move.
I’m no cricketer; I don’t have the skills for it, but like everyone else, I’m in the game of life. In spite of the circumstances that are presented to me, I have to aim somewhere. It’s no use just going along and letting things occur; I have to be aware.
Recently I was reading a book by Bill Johnson in which he said, ‘we should take notice of what we have, not what we don’t have. If we try to use our lacks, we end up with nothing!’
Since then, I’ve been attempting to put that into practice. If I feel tired after working too hard, I remind myself that God has promised to give me strength. If difficult situations pile up in my day, I ask the Lord to help me prioritise them so I can see what my goals are, rather than how many tasks are piling up in front of me. If I clear away the urgency in the multitude of jobs, I can more easily ‘see where the gaps are’.
Prayer is a vital tool for finding those spaces. We might think that the gaps are the things we don’t have, the empty parts. But it works the opposite way. The gaps are opportunities we can use. If we reach out for peace from the Holy Spirit, he’ll give us room; gaps to help us see between the crowded places.
Here’s a good piece of advice: Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life ~ Philippians 4: 6-7 (The Message Bible).
The man who wrote those words hadn’t always put them into practice! He was only able to write them because he’d actually been worried a few times! That’s when he’d chosen to trust in Jesus.
I want to remember the good things I can use to reach the end of my day. Things that are mine, such as the fact that God’s given me 24 hours to fill; including peaceful nights to listen to his wise words. Then there are short walks I can take to relax my body, weary from working too long at the computer! And lovely music to take my mind off ‘the fieldsmen’ – that list of jobs yet to do! Best of all, there’s always a good scripture reading that speaks to my spirit about ‘the gaps’. What a lot of blessings I have!
And at the end of my day I look forward to his peace. Now that’s a goal worth aiming for.