Pick Up the Bowling Ball

Story of the Day for Tuesday August 23, 2011

Pick Up the Bowling Ball

                     They will still bear fruit in their old age. 

                                                            Psalm 92:14

 Dale Davis grew up with a passion for bowling. As a youngster, he got a job setting up pins in a bowling alley. When he left the Navy after World War II, he won $2500 in a bowling tournament in California.

But, around the age of sixty-eight, he began losing his eyesight to macular degeneration. He is now legally blind, and has only slight peripheral vision out of his right eye. Dale’s blindness forced him to give up bowling.

He moved from California to his hometown of Alta, Iowa, where he lives with his sister. She assists him with his blindness, but doesn’t coddle him. She encouraged him to begin bowling again.

Dale can’t see the pins. He can’t see the bowling lane, and sometimes can’t even find his bowling ball. But if he bends over and cocks his head sideways he can make out the small dots on the floor that show him where to stand.

Although he is frail-looking, he still uses the heaviest ball, and brags that he weighs 130 pounds – as long as he’s holding his bowling ball.


When we’re young, we’re always growing and getting better at things. We can throw a ball farther, learn to play chess or earn a driver’s license. It’s exciting.

But, when we get old, it’s not quite as exciting to slowly decline. As the body slows and the memory fades, many older people feel a sense of frustration because they can’t do what they used to do.  When we’re young we often envy other people, but when we get older, we tend to envy ourselves – we envy the person we used to be.


As we age or become handicapped by disease or injury, we can’t accomplish the things we used to, but the comforting thing is that we don’t need to. Our worth, in God’s eyes, is not based on achievement.  Once we’re freed from a sense of attainment by God’s grace, we can then focus on the lordship of Jesus – which means that our life is not about accomplishing what we want, but what he wants.

And what Jesus wants is that we will accept what he gives us each day, and use it as best we can for his glory.


Dale Davis was no longer as strong and agile as he used to be when he won bowling tournaments as a young man. At the age of 78, he was slow and bent over. But, even with his age and blindness, he did what he could.

And that’s the point.

On the final day of the bowling league season in Alta, Iowa, Dale Davis became the first person in the history of Century Lanes to bowl a perfect game.


In the end, however, it’s not about perfect games; it’s about the courage to pick up the bowling ball.

                                            (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)