Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Consider this my sermon notes...

Me and my little man are a lot alike. We're full of life and love for all. We enjoy people and making them smile. We are very internal people, focusing in on what we've done wrong most of the time. One of the attributes that drives me batty about my son is his seeming laziness. I almost hesitate to use the word lazy as it's not an entirely accurate description of him. David's laziness is more of an avoidance of failure, the outward manifestation of a raging whirlwind of insecurity inside his little soul.

This is something his Crazy Mama understands all too well ~ the whirlwind of raging insecurity.

Did y'all know that I played softball when I was little? When I was five and six, I played on a coach pitch team, donning the knee-highs proudly on crisp Saturday mornings. I remember well the feeling I had in the pit of my stomach each time I got up to bat ~ I was afraid of whatever would happen, whether I hit the big ole' white ball or not. If I struck out, I'd be embarrassed. If I hit it, I then had to run the bases, and I was terrified I wouldn't be fast enough and they would throw or tag me out. So either outcome embarrassment seemed the inevitable reward. In the field, I played out the same philosophies in my mind. As one can guess, I was planted out in right field where the big ole' white ball seldom rolled or dropped. I'd stand out there, glove on my bended knee, hoping that nothing would come my way. I was miserable on the softball field, and I never played again. It's a running joke in my family about my stint as a softball player, and I take it with thick skin. I was awful, no doubt. But I don't think anyone comprehended the battle that took place inside my head during every game.

Now, David plays highly competitive baseball, so I know that if the battle rages in between his ears, he must be way more effective at tuning it out. Or perhaps he's just way more talented than his mama ever dreamed of being. Either way, he's been successful in almost anything he's tried to do. But I look at him and I sense that self-doubt. It's all over him ~ the way he carries himself once he's made a mistake, the little faces I see him make as he's beating himself up on the inside ~ and it breaks my heart. And it's not limited to sports. Three years ago, the first time he put on a pair of roller skates, he was in tears within ten minutes of trying, so embarrassed that he couldn't quite maintain his balance. Just last night, he was in tears with his math homework, telling me, "But I'm just not good at this..." Arrow through my heart...

I think David and I are going to have a little vocabulary lesson. There are two words I want to talk to him about, and you are lucky enough {hahahaha} to read my thoughts as I try to collect and organize them for our discussion this afternoon. These are traits I want to see him focus on, ones I know he can understand and work toward:

tenacious: not easily pulled apart; persistent
zeal: eager desire to get something done or see something succeed

The latter of the two he has in his heart, whether he outwardly shows it or not. He's like me; he wants everyone to do well in all things all the time. He'll do whatever it takes to help or further a cause. But zeal without tenacity is irrelevant. Tenacity leaves no room for fear of failure or embarrassment as it is not easily pulled apart. In a way, tenacity is faith in action. Whether we're talking about our spiritual tenacity, our work ethic, or completing a 4th grade math assignment, tenacity means putting the faith in our ability to move forward into play.

I think I need this sermon more than my son. Tenacity is something I've never possessed much of throughout my life. I've lived so much of it paralyzed by fear ~ of failure, of not living up to expectations, of falling flat on my face. Take this blog, for example; only four people knew of its existence for a right long time because a huge part of me was afraid of what people would think about the words I typed. Seems crazy, doesn't it? And you thought I called myself Crazy Mama for a laugh? Only a few weeks ago was I zealously tenacious enough to post a link of my blog on facebook so that whoever could read what I had written because I finally accepted that what I say here is of value. So maybe, since I am learning right alongside him, my little man can get a 9 year old grasp of this big concept... maybe just a little. Enough to believe more in himself, in who he is ~ this amazing creature of God that, in my mind, must be destined to do amazing things.

Here's a thought to close with, and it's so, so very fitting. I think I'll share this one with David, written by a man who shares his name who lived a life full of tenacity for the LORD, though he made a ton of mistakes along them way:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. {Psalms 139:13-14}

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