KO’d   2 comments

6th grade “Field Day,” the last day of school.  We got to play and play and play all day long.  In our grade school, what we did was play some games in the school gym and then walk down to the little park in Apple Creek, Ohio.  Johnny Appleseed park is what I believe we called it.

This was the day that all 6th graders anticipated as we would celebrate together our final day as kings and queens of the school.  After all, we were the best class ever! 

So we were in the gym, playing one of my favorite games…dodgeball!

Dodgeball the way we played it was fun and treacherous, but mostly fun. There would be anywhere between 6 and 10 of those old rubber gym balls flying around during these games.  You had to have eyes on all sides of your head in order to survive.  When we had those rare moments of team coordination, we’d have all the balls on one side and launch a massive attach on the other.  Then we’d run like mad back to the wall while the other team responded in like fashion.

Retreating to the wall was an adventure because some of the kids back-peddled while others turned and ran in order to get there quicker.  I personally was a turn-and-run kind of guy so I could turn around and be ready quickly.  I’ll never forget my last ever ‘turn.’

I ran toward the wall, stopped suddenly, then proceeded to turn around only to run face-to-head into a backpedaling kid with the world’s hardest noggin.

I’ll never forget the look on my Momma’s face when she walked into the principle’s office.  I remember it because that is when I first woke up.  I remember the principle leaning over close to me and asking, “Dave, are you sure that you’re not faking this?”

I don’t remember exactly what Momma said to that man, but I do remember her sending up some extra prayers for the rest of that week. 

Sometimes our prayer life seems to get kicked into full-throttle apologetic mode like that, doesn’t it.  It frequently comes from flying off the handle, allowing stress to lead our lips, being wronged and saying the wrong things in response, or even seeing our freshly-KO’d kid being asked if he’s faking. 

Our mouth simply opens before the brain is even turned on, let alone engaged.  Maybe this is why Paul told the Thessalonians to “pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17), because he knew that all Christians have this natural tendency to insert our precious hoofs into our cheeks and gums (sorry, hoof in mouth joke gone bad).

But seriously, if we could find a way to allow our lives to be in a constant mode of prayer, then perhaps our quick tongues wouldn’t cause so much harm.  I truly doubt that Momma said anything bad to that tall stupid man.  What I do know as a husband, parent and pastor is that the tongue is the most deadly weapon I possess.  My quick wit has landed me in more doghouse scenarios than I’d ever prefer to admit.

Consider starting your day with a good quiet time.  Even if all you can muster is the beginning of a prayer, allow that prayer to follow you around all day.  Keep adding to it.  And for heaven’s sake, use your ears when you’re not running your mouth – no matter how your kid gets knocked out in 6th grade Field Day!

2 responses to “KO’d

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  1. Oh my goodness! Oh that is terrible! Getting knocked out on the last day of 6th grade! Great Sermon! I miss you preaching at Glenn Memorial Baptist Church! I miss you and your whole family! Thanks for spending Thanksgiving with us!


  2. Thank you, Abby. I miss each of you also. Thank you for keeping the Thanksgiving tradition of having our family as your guests. You are truly great friends (whom I promise never to play dodgeball with!).

    David Peppler, Sr.

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