A Lesson from the Bowling Alley

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When I was a little girl, bowling was a rare treat. I remember the year our parents took us bowling in Springfield, Tennessee, on New Year’s Day. Naturally, we weren’t very proficient. This was a great distress to my younger brother. He really wanted to bowl well and was almost inconsolable when he didn’t.

When I searched Library of Congress for a photo to illustrate bowling, I found this wonderful photograph from 1905.

American Bowling Congress, Bowling Tournament, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1905. Courtesy Library of Congress.

Look at that sea of men in their best suits and hats taking this tournament very seriously. I like how the photographer caught the bowling balls at various points on the alleys. I like the replica of the Statue of Liberty towering over the crowd. And, wow! What a bowling alley with all those lanes and a fancy balcony from which spectators could watch the tournament. And look at the roof. Is it possible it was a tent? I wonder what this scene sounded like. Was everyone hushed in anticipation?

This post isn’t really about bowling. It is about a message I saw in front of a bowling alley recently. The message was simply: 1 Peter 5:7. I looked up the verse. Here it is along with the one before it:

Therefore humble yourselves
under the mighty hand of God,
so that He may exalt you at the proper time, 
having cast all your anxiety on Him,
because He cares about you.
1 Peter 5:6-7

Proverbs teaches:

Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down,
But a good word makes it glad.
Proverbs 12:25

We certainly know how anxiety in our hearts feels, don’t we? We know intimately that it weighs our hearts down. The good words in 1 Peter 5:7 do make our hearts glad when we take them in deeply. We can cast all our anxiety—all our anxiety about everything we are anxious about—on God. The reason we can is because He cares about us, really and truly cares about us. What a comfort that is. I’m thankful that the sign in front of the bowling alley reminded me of that.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer
through Him who loved us. 
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other created thing will be able to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39



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