Monday, August 2, 2010
Please stop the bus here...I want off now.
Okay...I'm going to vent a little today.
Just a few post ago, I wrote about my teenager and her love of soccer. She started high school today but has been practicing with the varsity soccer team all summer. According to all indications, she stands a pretty good chance of making not just the team...but the starting 11 on varsity.
So why would I be upset about that? I'm actually quite proud of her because I know she has worked very hard. Last week, however, she left a two-a-day practice about an hour early to attend youth worship services at church. Word has it...that wasn't very well received by coaches.
Now here comes a public confession. During discussions about leaving the practice, I actually tried to talk her into staying and missing a single night of church. She wouldn't hear of it, so I picked her up, and she changed clothes on our way to church. I know the pressures and commitment required to play and excel in high school sports, but I momentarily lost my focus on the bigger picture. I'm very ashamed of that fact and will back her decision to put God first in all matters from this point forward.
Paul tells us in Romans 12:1-2 to not be conformed to this world. Ironically, that was the exact message from my pastor last night at services as he stomped all over my toes. Like me, he's a big sports fan and former athlete too. However, sports were not the priority in his home growing up, and he has conveyed that in a number of messages. Despite my mother's greatest efforts and example, I can't say the same about my home while I was growing up. Now, I'm not going off on some tangent and blame that fact on the path my life would later take because that would be complete hogwash. I personally know a number of people where God was no where to be found in their household growing up, and each has lead a very spirited walk with God since coming to salvation. My choices in life have been just that...my choices.
I told my Sunday School class just yesterday that we don't understand persecution as Christians in this country. Sure, there are subtle forms of persecution, and I pray my daughter is not about to go through one of those. Let me get back to not conforming to the world though. Sports are king in our country. We idolize and try to mimic our favorite professional athletes and teams by clearing our calendars to watch them on television, paying outrageous prices to attend sporting events, and by buying the products they endorse. I've admitted I'm as big a sports fan as you'll find, and unfortunately, I've become a conformist.
Do we have to forgo sports to properly serve God? I don't think so. But when sports at any level from Pee Wee baseball to Super Bowl Sunday supersedes or interferes with drawing closer to God or being obedient to His will, we find ourselves on a slippery slope that may start with just a warped sense of priority but lead to growing ever farther away from Him. Count me out!
Tonight, Mrs. Tony C and I are going to have a talk with the teenager about letting go and letting God take over her situation. I have a few good examples of famous athletes that philosophy seemed to work out for in the short and long run. Pretty sure this guy will be in the conversation...
Please pray for my daughter and that whatever happens brings glory and honor to God.