I had to write a post today. When I open up my Blogger interface, it politely lets me know that I have written six-hundred, sixty plus six posts. I don't like that number, so I am glad to offer a little insight on youth sports in America...
Youth sports provide the largest window into the human psyche ever. It reveals who we really are deep down inside our souls. I will never forget when my competitive nature finally bubbled its way up to the surface as I watched my five year old son smack the heck out of a baseball off a black rubber tee. See, I never excelled at sports, but I was never one who liked anyone being better than me at anything I did. I was the drama girl in high school, and I always wanted to be the best, the brightest, the loudest and easiest to understand on the stage. I poured over scripts for hours in complete solitude to get them just right. I wanted to do my best, and I was willing to do whatever it took to do so.
When my son started playing sports, I naturally shifted that drive onto him since I have no plans of returning to any stage at any point in my life. I wanted him to be the best little five year old second baseman, the best hitter, the best, the best, the best. And he was hungry for it. But I wasn't the mom who just shouted the loudest at the games; I actually threw him grounders and pop flies in the front yard and pulled out the tee anytime he wanted to hit. I knew from my own experience in life that if you want to be the best you must commit the practice.
Last night, we had a basketball game at 7:00. Basketball is not for the faint of heart or those who don't catch on quickly. It's intricate, strategic, and fast paced. Add kids into the mix and it becomes a show of thrown elbows (both intentional or not) and trips and slides across the parquet. It's actually more fun to watch kids you don't know because you don't have a dog in the fight and can enjoy all the hilarious situations that evolve on the court. We walked into the middle of an eight year old game, and the parents were brewing. Apparently the refs weren't calling enough fouls for most of parents, and a few of the moms were making their disapproval quite clear.
Here's the funny thing about basketball... some refs call every little thing, others not so much. Whichever kind of officiating you have, the parents aren't happy. They are either calling too many fouls or not enough, nitpicking every little wrong move the players make or not. Bottom line is that human beings are never satisfied. Never. Give them what they want one day, they will want something else tomorrow.
There's a fine line between satisfaction and settling. Very fine line. And the word settle is not one that the American public smiles upon. To settle means to take something less than what you deserve. Satisfaction depends on accepting what you are given. In terms of the basketball game last night, we had officials who poured grace on the players, giving allowance for lesser fouls and minor mistakes in order to keep the game flowing. One would think that our human race would appreciate grace, but I find more and more as the years tick away that we are not geared that way. We don't want grace or freedom; we don't want strict regulations. What we really want is our way.
It made me think about how God must feel sometimes as He watches me go about my life... how He must look down and think, "There she goes again. Just can't be satisfied with what I have purposed for her. Always wanting more or less. Always wanting things to go her way instead of My way." Listening to the parents rant and rave about the unfairness of the game made me more aware of my true human nature to expect things to go as I want them to flow all the time. When I relinquish my ways and thoughts and desires and submit to God's purpose, the game can move along at the proper pace. With a lot of grace, of course.