Occasionally, a song I've forgotten will pop up in my head, seemingly out of nowhere. I've come to learn it's never really "out of nowhere." A lot of times, I think God is behind it.

For the past few days, I've been hearing "The Greatest," by Kenny Rogers. If you have never heard that song before, you need to click on the link and surf on over. It's just about the most precious little boy song ever. And I'm about to give away the ending for you, so you'd better go now if you want to get the "cool factor" from the song when you hear it. I warned you...

So the little boy is in his yard and, three times, he throws up his ball, swings, and misses. The first two times he declares that he is the greatest baseball player ever and tries again. The third time, you're really feeling for the poor kid who is clearly not "the greatest." Until he declares that even he didn't realize he was that great of a pitcher.

Two things about this song: determination and perspective.

As writers (or teachers, soldiers, sanitation workers, whatever your job), it's easy to bog down. We get caught up in our mistakes. We start to look at everybody else's jobs and think they're way cooler (or easier) than ours. We try and fail, try and fail, try and fail. Writers get rejections. No one is immune. The point is to throw the ball in the air and try again. Like the little boy, enjoy the trying. Even when he missed, he was having fun playing with his baseball. Not once did he get frustrated and throw his bat across the yard (something I've threatened to do with my laptop more than once).

As for perspective? Well, this is not a perfect interpretation of the song, but I'll say it anyway. We've got to learn from our failures. What's causing us to keep missing? One of two things: we're doing it wrong and have more to learn, OR we're doing the wrong job and it's time to re-evaluate. (I started out writing Bible studies before God yanked me up and said, "That's not what I told you to write. Chicken." Okay, He didn't call me a chicken, but He could have, because I was.) I'm going to assume we're all in the right job and say this: if you keep failing, is it because your batting skills are off or because your pitching arm is weak? Figure it out, then strengthen it.

That said, I'm off to the batting cage. There are revisions to be done, a story to be strengthened.

1 Response
  1. Jen Says:

    Love that song! As soon as I saw your tweet, I started singing it in my head, and then saw you were singing the same thing. Great minds think alike, I guess. :-)