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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ten Pin Living

Strikezone is a 24 lane bowling alley in Albion Park Rail. I was there recently with my family enjoying the action and excitement. I was thinking about all the bowling balls and pins, the music and amusement machines, the dodgy food, and the people: bowlers, employees and spectators. Where do you fit in at the bowling alley of life?

Propelled by incomprehensible forces, balls rumble along polished wooden lanes. They have no drive of their own, but they do have direction and momentum. They crash right into the pins of life's troubles, and send them flying. Pins have no choices: they don't move unless acted upon by an external force. At the bowling alley, they stand around in frightened little groups, trying to be inconspicuous, and hoping that when the big bowling balls of tribulation come thundering their way, they miss!

The bowling alley needs pins and balls, and workers. The latter group take your money and give you disturbingly unfashionable and ill fitting shoes, and over priced, under tasty food. Spectators are also good because they provide noisy encouragement for the bowlers, and atmosphere for the cavernous interior. While these things and people are all necessary, the bowling alley exists primarily for the bowlers.

They might start out not knowing that a bowling ball has holes, let alone which fingers are supposed to go into which holes, but they find the right ball - not too heavy, not too light - and they learn to bowl. It takes practice but eventually even the worst bowlers, the weakest, the least athletic, the most uncoordinated, can score the odd strike. And what about the massive celebration when they do? The glorious thrill of knocking over all ten pins. It's fun and exciting and it makes you want to keep bowling until your arm falls off or your back gives out. It makes you want to crash through the frustration of a gutter ball or split pins, and keep trying.

In the Strikezone of life, if you're not bowling then you're just ripping yourself off.

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