Here’s how I got my best bowling score in years

Photo credit: Seth Tisue / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Seth Tisue / Foter / CC BY-SA

Okay, it was only a 135. But that’s a great score for me. And by the way, the sign above wasn’t my issue.

Village Church, the missional community my wife and I started with a few friends last year, chose to have a fun night last week for church. As an MC, not only can we do that sort of thing for church – we’re supposed to do it from time to time.

The first game we bowled I did predictably pathetic. I believe my score was 89. For some reason, I slice when I bowl. I’m right-handed, but the ball consistently cuts to the right and I don’t know why. Interestingly, when I golf (which I’m equally bad at) I almost never slice the ball.

Anyway, I decided to watch the better bowlers and see how they were doing things. Some were spinning the ball, but I didn’t want to take it that far. Others were doing much better than me without spinning. Then I noticed what all the better bowlers had in common that I didn’t.  They released the ball lower to the ground by bending their knees.

Photo credit: Curtis Gregory Perry / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: Curtis Gregory Perry / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

So, I gave it a shot . . . and it worked!  Bowling is usually a once-a-year thing for me, but we may have to try it some more.

Paul made a pretty bold statement in 1st Corinthians 11:1. The church in Corinth was having a hard time following Christ because of divisions among them. In the middle of lecturing them, he says, “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. (NLT)”

Christians tend to look at this from Paul’s perspective.  Whenever I’ve heard this verse discussed it’s always been about how we must be confident in our Christian journeys to be able to challenge the less mature to follow our example.  Not a bad thought.

But, what about seeing it from the Corinthians’ perspective?  How about when I’m struggling with my spiritual journey? What a great idea it would be to observe what someone else is doing and imitate them!  Paul wasn’t speaking to non-Christians. He was speaking to the “Church in Corinth.”  They may not have had it all together, but they were the church.

If your marriage is struggling, imitate a couple with a strong marriage. If your time with God isn’t going well, find the person you feel is closest to God and ask them what they do. Think about that one person you desperately don’t want to go to heaven without but are struggling with how to help. You should talk it over with someone who does that well and emulate their approach.

You can be sure that Paul was thrilled when people asked him for some info on how to live like he did. The person you know that you need to imitate will most likely feel the same way. So, you’ve got nothing to lose.

One more thing. You fledgling bowlers who admire my 135, don’t imitate my form.  It was only one game, after all. Follow the example of bowlers who have stood the test of time – who’ve struggled with it for years and are consistent.

Enjoy your new game!

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