Over the years, our kids have played competitive sports. Our oldest son played hockey and our youngest son still plays soccer. When you play sports, you know you are going to learn a lot about the sport, or at least that’s the hope anyway. There were seasons early in the boys’ sporting lives when the teams didn’t win all that much (I really don’t like to lose, by the way). It was really tough on them and me. Often in those times I would hear a parent say, “It’s not about winning, it’s about having fun”. My response is always, “Really? If this is fun, I have had enough fun, thanks”. One thing I have taken from these teams is the life lessons. See, I don’t think it’s about the fun, it’s about what we learn in those moments of success and, yes, even the failure.
As I reflect on those times, I can see the lessons. I learn a lot about conflict resolution as my oldest and I have a blow out in the car on the way home after a game where I felt he didn’t play hard enough. I have learned that it’s not good to confront a parent from another team who is yelling at one of our players (…it was ugly). I have learned not to yell at my youngest to run harder on the field, because he has a mind of his own and will let me have it in front of the other parents (it was an awkward moment – my lawn chair was not big enough for me to crawl under).
One big life lesson from sports is learning how I can see God in all those moments. I have seen how God is making himself known as sunflower seeds are shared, and I have seen him through early morning coffee conversations while waiting for practice to start. I have seen how God has pointed out areas of my life that I need Him to work on. I have had deep moments of reflection on growing up without a dad, not knowing what it would be like to have him watch me do a great move whenever my son looks at me for approval. Do you know how hard it is to hold back the tears while standing with other parents at a practice? Yep… awkward! There are way too many moments to list in this blog.
I wonder what it is in your life that God is trying to use as a life lesson. Maybe today you will step back and see that there is something bigger going on than just that moment. Maybe God is going to use it to show you something about yourself and more importantly, about Him.