Wading into the Scrum

Scrum [skruhm]

1.  a Rugby play in which, typically, three members of each team line up opposite one another with a group of two and a group of three players behind them, making an eight-person, three-two-three formation on each side; the ball is then rolled between the opposing front lines, the players of which stand with arms around a teammate’s waist, meeting the opponent shoulder to shoulder, and attempt to kick the ball backward to a teammate.

2.  British. a place or situation of confusion and racket; hubbub.

I’m a terrible rugby player.  We all were, really.  We didn’t win a single game all season, but boy did we ever have a blast slopping and slogging our way through fields sluggish with spring mud.  Who knew getting completely filthy was so much fun?

I was the team hooker, which my teenaged brother thought was hilarious.  “Yeah, my sister is a hooker,” he would casually remark to his smirking and chuckling buds (aren’t adolescent boys just the bomb?).  I wasn’t fast, but I was big (ok, well not tall, but certainly solid) strong, and could hit hard.  I loved the moment of contact, when you just put your head down, steeled your shoulders and waded through the scrum (see above definition, for the uninitiated).

I had an embarrassing habit, though.  When I hit an opponent, I squeaked.  Not a growl, not an offensive roar, but a squeak.  I just couldn’t help it. Not only did I hit like a girl (albeit a strong one), I sounded like one!  Wham!  Squeak!  Wham!  Squeak!

Sigh.  The guys rugby team loved to stand around and laugh at us, at least when they weren’t trying to grab us at rugby parties (note to self, rugby parties are not the most spiritually edifying places on the planet).

We’re built for battle, aren’t we?  John Eldridge says that we were born into a war – something I’ve been spending the last decade coming to grips with.  Our fight is not against flesh and blood, but there is a battle, nevertheless.  And the bombardment from the world, the flesh and the devil can be unremitting and unrelenting.  There’s no hiding from it, no running away from it.  The battle lines are drawn in the very warp and woof of our lives.

The ball is in our hands, the opposing team thundering down the field towards us, a glint in their eyes and the taste of our blood on their lips.  So what to do?

The only thing we can do.  Put our heads down, steel our shoulders, and wade into the scrum.  Like Jesus, set our face like flint towards our personal Jerusalem, and go for it.  Ok, maybe we’ll squeak a little, and we might have to get wrung out and hosed down at the end of it, but hey, this is what we were born and built for!

The Mousinator!

My dad was a hunter.  I can remember opening the garage door and seeing ghostly goose carcasses slung from ceiling rafters.  Eating wild duck for Christmas and hearing stories of how dad gave up shooting rabbits because if you didn’t kill them right away they cried like babies.

He came by it naturally.  The fireplace at my Grandparents log home sported a massive rack of antlers donated by some unwitting and unwary denizen of the forest.  In the guest bedroom, old rifles were racked on wall mounts made of deer hooves.   I never understood the allure of it all – the thrill of the hunt.

Until now.

“Yeah!  Got one!”  I gleefully scooped up the trap and it’s occupant, now stiffened in rigor mousis, and released it into the bushes outside where it would be dinner to some other varmint.  The fridge scoreboard read Mouse – 0, Jill 4!  Who knew I was so bloodthirsty?

“Why can’t you use the live catch traps?” my husband complained, “They’re much more humane!”

It makes me think of an obscure little verse in the Song of Songs  “Catch for me the little foxes… that ruin the vineyards.”  The little foxes – I’ve certainly got some internal pests, squeaking and unclean.  Offenses, judgments, a sense of entitlement. They may seem small and inconspicuous, hidden underneath the surface.  At best they make messes.  At worst, they are destructive.  So they’ve got to go.  No live traps and release.  These suckers gotta die!

D.L. Moody was once asked who was his greatest opponent in ministry.  His response?  D. L. Moody!  I’m always asking myself the question, am I holy, or just socialized?  What’s scurrying below the surface?

We’ve all got critters, internal vermin, the little foxes,  and I don’t know about you, but I’m going after mine!

Just call me the Mousinator!


My buddy Sandy (you should check out her book and awesome ministry at http://www.offthemap.info/sandy.html) was the first one who ever used the “I-word” in my direction.

“Jill, you’re an intercessor,” she declared.

An inter-whatter?  Intriguing!  Just what the heck was that?  Enquiring minds wanted to know.  Then when I found out what an intercessor was, I rapidly backpedalled.

No way – intercessors, prayer warriors, nobody knows what to do with them – they are relegated to some dingy little room in the back of the church somewhere, out of sight and definitely out of mind.  Or the job of praying is given to someone who seemingly doesn’t have any other skills.  Not to mention that they’re sad all the time – carrying the weight of the burden of the Lord.  Not me!  I’m a worship leader!  I get to be the happy one, cavorting in the Glory!  Intercessor?  Never!

You all know, of course, that God takes us all to our Never Never Lands.  Some time later, I was lurking about my church sanctuary on a weekday morning, thanking God for all that He had poured into me in a season of renewal, asking Him to pour out more.  His response startled me.

“I want you to pour yourself out,” I was reminded of the Apostle Paul, talking about his life being poured out as a drink offering as his act of worship.  Picking up my guitar, I began to pray, hum, and compose:

Make my life a prayer

Make my life a song

Make my life an offering to You

I want to pour it out.

(to hear a mp3 clip of the completed song, check out my embarrassingly outdated and not-updated website http://www.jillweber.com  in the mp3 download section) and if you want to order the CD and buy it for all of your friends and family for Christmas, don’t use the order section in the aformentioned dinosaur of a website, cause of course it’s not working, just email me and I’ll hook you up.

You know those dangerous prayers?  The ones you declare in a naïve moment of devotion, and then if you had any sense, you would duck out of the way right after you utter them?

Well that was one of them.

Inter-whatter land – second star to the right and on into morning?  Here I gooooooooo!