By: Michele Volk
My first season of college softball was not what I anticipated it to be. Our team wasn't winning as much as I was used to. Well okay, if I'm being completely honest, our team just wasn't winning period. Our team lost a lot. Game after game after game. Loss after loss after loss. My usual bubbly personality quickly morphed into an angry one. I was mad. A lot. The losses really started to weigh on me.
Anytime I made a mistake, I instantly shut down.
I felt a responsibility to perform well for a team that wasn't. So when I missed a grounder or struck out, my anger grew. I didn't express it outwardly as much as I just sat there and scowled, although, there were a few more thrown bats and slammed helmets than I would like to admit.
As hard as I tried to shake the anger and frustration as the season continued, nothing seemed to help.
Now I don't know about you, but when I'm in a bad mood, one of the worst things is when someone tells me to stop being in a bad mood. Like c'mon, just let me sulk. My coach did his best to pull me aside and tell me to pick my head up but I didn't want to listen. I wanted to wallow in my despair (I know, so dramatic). When my shortcomings were brought up, it only made me want to shut down even more.
I think of how many times in my life the Lord points something out that needs changing. "Ayo Michele (that's how He address me), you have some work to do here." And I'm over here like pshhhh me? Nah. Shoot, what are you even talking about? No problems here... No one likes when their flaws are brought up. I know I don't. I tend to push away the reality of my shortcomings that He's showing me. Why?
Because I find it easier to wallow in my faults than to put in the hard work to change them.
My current year as a missionary has revealed all kinds of things. I’ve found that its difficult to recognize the truth of my shortcomings, because that means I’m admitting that I’m flawed. And that's painful to admit. Yet wanting to be the best version of myself without putting in the work to change is contradictory. It'd be as if I wanted to be the best athlete I could be, but never put in the practice in order to get better.
For me, the Lord is pretty straight forward with his message today: The easy path leads to destruction and the narrow path is difficult, but leads to life. Although I don’t like identifying areas I fall short in, it's worth it in the end after I’ve improved. It's worth it because I am growing into the person God wants me to be. After all, the Lord didn't say it would be easy, He just said it would be worth it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michele Volk is a recent graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville with a degree in Communication Arts. Originally from the city of brotherly love, she is currently serving as a missionary in Minnesota with the organization NET Ministries. She loves anything sports, photography, and is always down for a spontaneous dance party. She blogs at michelevolk.weebly.com