Sunday, October 24, 2010

Who Are You, and What Have You Done With My Child?

There comes a time in every parent's life...well maybe only in ours...when you look at your child and say to yourself, "the Lord God did not destine this one to be an athlete."  Steve and I have, over the past year, had several of these moments with our son, George.  First, there was soccer.  What can you say to the coach when your son walks down the field with his hands clasped behind his back during the game? The best part of soccer for George was using his new water bottle.
Then, there was t-ball.  George approached the very first game with gusto, fielding several outs on first base and hitting a few line drives down center field....only to find out that in t-ball there is no score keeping, and you can only advance one base at a time.  His reaction was to shift his efforts out of 5th gear and into 1st.  Watching him sit on the bases, draw in the dirt and let the nearest team-mate field the ball was a fine lesson in humility for his parents.
George, however, continued to reassure us that he was having fun, and remained a faithful member of the White Tigers t-ball team.

The next sport on tap for the summer was swimming.  This is the only sport that I make no exceptions for - all of the kids must learn to swim, no matter what it takes.  To our delight, George succeeded and even though he thinks mastering karate moves is essential to perfecting your stroke...
...we are simply overjoyed that we no longer have to haul a bounty of life-saving flotation devices to the pool for him!  Victory!

With our move to Southwest Kansas this fall came a great deal of decision making concerning the kids' activities.  With regards to George, we were shifting away from sports and into other realms of activities like chess or music or art lessons.  But, with big brothers playing football, we could not say "no" to him when he asked to play flag football.
With Steve stepping in to coach, we kept our fingers crossed, searched for lucky underwear and, hoped for just a little spark to be ignited in our son with this new athletic venture.

The first game was played as we had predicted: the boys were too excited to know which way to hike, run or block.  But, they had terrific amounts of fun, so we chalked it up as a success.

Then, out of the blue, like a super-hero transforming for battle, a switch was flipped in George's soul, an athletic conversion of great proportions ensued, and we no longer recognized the little renegade who dominated the field with flashy flag-pulling fingers.

First it was one flag pulled, then two, then twelve.

Things like MC Hammer's song "Can't Touch This" and reeling thoughts of what he ate for breakfast, the words used in the pre-game pep talk ran through my head all at the same time.

George was applying the virtues of fortitude, decisiveness and dedication to a game he barely knew, and I knew with certainty that it was not the result of coaching and pep-talks.

It was the result of graciousness, God's graciousness.  His abundant love gifting our son with abilities and convictions that are outside of our own desires or control.  When God breathes life into those gifts they overflow into the moments shared with others allowing us to experience something transcendental, something we may not recognize as or account to God, but nevertheless know to be good, true and beautiful, something that can only be described as gift.
With each successive game, the efforts and enthusiasm from each team member increased,
and it was rewarded with joyous victories and proud applause from sideline fans.
George's team name was the Hornets.
Most appropriate, I think.
As individuals, the hornets were more than a bit irritating to the opposing team.  
(All's fair in love and football!) Go, baby, go!!
The Hornet Huddle
But, as a team, the hornets became a nest, and we all know you never, ever want to get caught in a hornet's nest!
For in Him we live, and move and have our being. ~Acts 17:28


  1. I enjoyed reading this, great story!

  2. Of course he had it in him....he is a Husband by golly! Go George! The J's are so proud :)