I got the opportunity to hear Scott Hamilton speak back in July at Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. He joined Rhonda Lowry (Lipscomb professor and wife of the university’s president) in a session called Walking in the Spotlight: Conversations with Christian Celebrities.

Scott talked about his journey into skating, his battle with cancer and meeting his wife. It was his wife, who took him to church and propelled him toward a relationship with God. Before meeting his wife, he described his belief and faith in God as being somewhat general and vague. He said it was “untethered”. And if this had been a cartoon, you would have seen a light bulb turn on over my head.

tigertetherballIf we were to play a word association game, “tether” brings to my mind the game of tetherball. And specifically I think of the tetherball pole at Camp Manatawny. We are usually at camp during the week that high school Juniors and Seniors attend. The tetherball during that week is rarely utilized for it’s intended purpose which is a game played between two people. At best, the ball gets batted around the pole by pre-campers (children of staff members) or a lonely or bored camper.When it’s being used, it’s flying high and far away and then eventually wraps itself tightly around the pole. Other times, it hangs listlessly beside the pole, waiting.

The tether ball is a fairly accurate metaphor for my faith. Sometimes, I’m swinging high and far away. Sometimes, I’m wrapped tightly around that pole. And sometimes, I’m just hanging there. But no matter what, I’m always attached, bound, connected, tethered. God is not letting go and neither am I.

photo credit: Brian L. Romig


Filed under musings

5 responses to “Tethered

  1. Kat

    Wow!! What an accurate description. I often describe my relationship as ‘ebb and flow’ but I REALLY like the tether ball version better. I was just thinking that I have been feeling a bit hangy lately. With moving we have yet to find a new church so there has been an apparent emptiness. Thanks for giving me a big swing!

    • Malia

      I wish I could better describe what happened in me when he said “untethered” and it all just came together for me, seemingly in an instant. “Lightbulb moment” is close but is still lacking in the power behind it.

  2. Tracy

    Love your analogy Malia. It’s a good description of my faith, too.

  3. what a beautiful post, malia! great metaphor that i think we can all relate to. thank you. i needed this today.

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