Fumble is defined as using one's hands clumsily while doing or handling something. People can "fumble the ball" or "fumble in the dark." As missionaries, as Christians, it is so easy to fumble in the things that matter.
"Fumbling the ball" describes when a teammate is attempting to pass a ball and, for whatever reason, the person drops it. Dropping the ball is often very public and very humiliating. There are spectators rooting for and against you, and teammates counting on you complete the play. As a missionary and youth worker, I have people believing in me, cheering me on, and hoping I won't drop the ball. The pressure is on.
So often when youth become more independent, their independence draws them away from the nurturing womb of their home church. They grow up in a protective cocoon of supportive adults, and then the time comes to shed those confines and spread their wings. They go out in search of new ideas, more relevant teachings, excitement, community. Sometimes they return, sometimes they don't. In my work with young people I am just one of the players on the field, in the company of the mentors and Sunday School teachers who came before. When the play calls for me will I fumble?
I feel the weight of responsibility as I meet up with young people; similar to the feeling of being on the field and hoping I won't mess up. I want so much for these young people! I want them to understand the benefits of Christian community. I want them to cultivate a personal spiritual life. I want them to connect with the God who formed them and has a plan and purpose for them. Will I say the right words? Do I text them enough? Too much? When I lead a Bible study, is it engaging? Is it relevant to their lives?
1 Corinthians 3:7
"So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but only God, who makes things grow."
I am reminded, lest I forget, that it is God who gives the increase. I may fumble in the delivery or the method, but the greater fumble is to think it's all up to me. I am to do my best- to work as unto the Lord; the results are ultimately out of my hands. To know my role and stay humble, lest I fumble.