Updated: Sep 28, 2020
It was a hot summer afternoon in Tampa Bay, and our eldest grandson, Caleb, was working at the church office. He was helping us get ready for our annual Vacation Bible School. When he completed his tasks, he asked if he could go out and shoot some hoops. If you don't know what that means, he was asking to play basketball. Caleb was playing for an AAU basketball team, and he spent every waking hour honing his skills.
During summer, Tampa Bay has daily heavy mid-afternoon thunderstorms, but this day was a little different. It was a deluge. The rain came down in buckets. It was like what imagined the storms would be during the flood, and Noah says, "Wow God, that's a lot of water!" I mean, the drops were going sideways. It wasn't ideal.
I thought the rain would deter Caleb from going out and practicing. There was no way he could shoot or even dribble out in that downpour, right? Wrong. As the rain came down like sheets of translucent paper, he asked again, "Can I go out and practice?" I first couldn't believe he wanted to go out in that mess. I said, "Caleb, how are you going to shoot, practice moves, or even dribble; it's like a lake out there?" The young man looked at me and, with a simple phrase, said it all, "Got to grind, papa. Got to grind."
That's determination. How do you say "no." to that kind of work ethic. With a smile on my face and pride in my heart, I gleefully said, "Go do what you gotta do." For the next forty-five minutes, that young man worked on his ball-handling and shot-making skills like he was preparing for the NBA finals. As the water accumulated about two inches deep on the blacktop, Caleb splashed and sputtered his way through his resolute practice.
We all have to deal with rainy days, those periods that look, on the outside, as impossible situations. When you have one of those days, thank God for the gift of today. It's the only one you have, so you might as well make the best of it. I say what I wrote in my book, "Today is my favorite day!" Then I speak out the six simple truths from my book, "I'm breathing. I'm not alone. I'm loved. There is a plan, purpose, and place for me." Those truths have kept me grounded through some difficult times.
Then I think of those three simple words my grandson Caleb said to me as he went out to face the storm, "Got to grind." Those words make me smile. They will make you smile too! It's my prayer that you will rely on the power of God (1 Corinthians 9:24-27), use the six simple truths, and then grind your way through the difficult circumstances to a positive result. If you are on social media, use the hashtag #gottogrind and give it all we can to experience God's success in our lives.
David Towner is the author of Today Is My Favorite Day and the Pastor of The Harbor Church in Odessa, Fl. He is married to Tonya, and together they have three beautiful daughters and four awesome grandsons.