For those who do not automatically understand the original definition of “curveball,”  here it is: a pitch thrown with a strong downward spiral, causing the ball to drop suddenly and veer to the side as it approaches home plate.  The batter waits anxiously for the pitch and most likely expects the ball to head straight towards him.  But then, out of the blue, the ball changes course and flies wayward, the bat missing contact altogether and all hopes and expectations, are gone the way of the ball.  The “informal” definition is something unexpected, surprising, or disruptive.  More than likely, you have dealt with the latter more than the former. 

Every person that has ever existed has experienced this phenomenon called a curveball.  It happens because we only have so much control in our own lives and even less control in the lives of others.  They hit us out of the blue, causing us to stumble or throw us to the ground.  These curveballs have many shapes and sizes but there are things we can do, ways in which we can respond to help us deal most effectively with these events.  Instead of reacting and allowing the “curveball” to strike us out, here are four ways in which we can win the day.

  1. When life throws you a curveball, do not ignore it.  Facing it head on is the first best thing you can do for yourself.  Those bills that keep piling up, do not shove them in your junk draw.  It is empowering to acknowledge the problem, get organized, and be a doer of the things that you can control.  It takes making a big decision that can be very scary but there is nothing worse than living in fear.
  2. Seek wise counsel and ask for help.  We are not talking about your closest friends but people who will genuinely speak truth into your life, support you, encourage you, and give you help if needed.  We were made to live in community and to depend upon one another.  This means letting go of pride.  This is so hard, it is almost painful at times.  But making decisions in isolation can be dangerous and costly. 
  3. Consider this curveball endurance-building. It is true that they challenges of today are making us stronger for tomorrow. If you look at life’s curveballs as character-defining movements, you will focus on the benefits on the other side of the trial.
  4. Lastly, be thankful at all times.  Making a list of 5 things you are thankful for may sound cliche and unhelpful but this tool can be a game changer.  When you focus on what is good and honorable and lovely in your life, you begin to gradually change your mind.  With a mind renewed by thankfulness, you will be better equipped to handle whatever curveball comes your way!