As I listened to an advisor, a metaphor was used to describe my behavior. It caught me off guard.
“You like to play life with a square bat. I hope you keep trying.”
Our conversation turned to the game of cricket. Playing with a square bat is a phrase I have rarely heard anyone use. It refers to how you stand and swing your bat. The bat itself has a large flat edge. By standing at right angles to the bowler (think pitcher) and the ball, one holds and swings the bat so that the contact is always at 90 degrees. The result is that all the elements of the game are square with the other. Said another way, you are playing with a square bat.
My mind raced, trying to decode the image in my mind. This was not about what I intended to do; it was all about my action. As I struggled to find the right words that would align with the metaphor, I was given the answer. “You try to “walk straight, act right, tell the truth.” (Psalm 15.2) You do not always succeed. You do try.
I had never thought of my actions in this way. I realized that it was a theme that my father has worked hard to instill in me at a very young age. At the time, I did not know anything about right, wrong, mercy, or compassion. I had no framework to use in making decisions. My focus was on what I wanted. It was typical of kids my age (four or five). After one incident I instantly regretted, Dad laid it out, keeping it simple and direct.
“Walk straight, act right, tell the truth.”
I would like to think that I have grown. I hope values like community and compassion close to my heart. In the quietness of the early morning, I realize that as important as everything is, that it starts with simple instructions that still ring true. “Walk straight, act right, tell the truth.”
I remember being five, hearing Dad’s voice. Thank-you.