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.
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...
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.
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