Saturday, September 20, 2014

Temper Temper, A Kid's Soccer Game, And How God Keeps Me Classy

This is a blog post because it was too big to turn into a fb status:

This morning, I was able to spend a portion of my morning in a worship setting at a ladies' prayer breakfast.  But then, I had to leave early in order to take my son to his soccer game.  And that's where it kinda fell apart for me...

Because there's just something about certain parents at these soccer games that makes it difficult to "keep it classy".

What I don't understand is:  What would possess a parent - especially from your own team - to say mocking things about a kid who's out there giving his best.  That kid is my kid.  You guys, this is rec league soccer.  We were winning by 9pts when my son missed a goal.  We were then up by about 11pts when he missed another.  And when he couldn't keep up with the person he was assigned to on defense.  And I think we had 13 goals when he tripped and another teammate picked up the slack for him.  We won by double digits.  All of which means nothing, actually, because there are no playoffs or trophies or college scouts get the idea.

What I do understand is:  I...we...serve a powerful God.  Because anyone who has known me for a long time?  Knows.  With each comment, I immediately and instinctively had no less than 6 come backs pop into my head.  Really, really unkind comments that would have surely left the poor person rocking in the corner of the port-o-pot or something.  I became so angry that my vision started to cloud up in my left eye and stabbing pains started in my left cheek.

And then this happened:

The cartoon-esque angel/devil arrived on each shoulder.  No coincidence that the ms difficulties were on the same side as that pitchfork.

I literally put my hand over my mouth by resting my face in my hand, elbow propped on crossed leg.  I then had to actively battle the ugly comments in my mind with pieces of the serenity prayer...scripture...and the fact that my behavior is a direct reflection of my walk with the Lord.  At one point, I was trying to make deals with God.  If I could say just one thing, surely I could let go of my rage and get my eyesight back.  C'mon, God!  Let me pick my favorite and then I'll go back to trying to enjoy the game.  I sat still, waiting for my "yes".  Waiting...silently...asking again...then hearing another comment about how my kid was apparently not enough for this nearly unable to see at all out of the left eye...

Instead of hearing what I wanted, I was reminded of a time when a player kept it classy in the face of absolute lunacy on the field.  She was pushed, elbowed, shoved from behind, tripped, kicked at, trash talked, rinse and repeat.  If she could stand firm in the face of THAT, I had no choice.  I had to keep my hand over my mouth.  Literally.

When my son came off the field after the game, he acknowledged that he had a rough one.  I reminded him that it didn't matter...I was proud of him, because he never quit.  I mean, there are gonna be bad games.  Bad times.  Bad days.  But they don't define us.  We press on.  Never quitting.  Never giving in to circumstances.  Or ridiculous people.  With even more ridiculous sunglasses on.  I mean, come on.  Do you have a pair of matching driving gloves in your pocket?

I'm sorry, Lord...

Then, I proceeded to trip all the way up to my car, because it took every last ounce of self-control and strength that only faith could provide to keep my act together.  I had nothing left for the long walk!  No matter.  I could have fallen and rolled down the gravel driveway, but I'd have looked pretty classy along the way ;)

I'm definitely not where I need to be, but thankfully, God didn't leave me where I used to be...
                     - me