Do you remember your first “real” sports game? You know, the one. It’s a team from a different school. You have a sweet uniform. The score counts. You will walk away a winner or a loser. And you have the potential to make a mistake and/or make a brilliant play.
My youngest son plays his first football game this Saturday. He’s so excited to play a game! As his mom, I’m pretty excited too! I love seeing him train and practice to prepare for Saturday. I know the years of flag football and nights spent hanging around the field will pay off with the lessons learned from football. Some of my favorite lessons so far:
- Your equipment matters. Your helmet and pads are critical for protecting yourself. They also need to fit right so they don’t inhibit your ability to play the game.
- Head up. You have to keep your head up when tackling so that you don’t hurt yourself or others.
- Teamwork. Everyone has a position to play. Not everyone will make a touch down or carry the ball. But every position is critical.
- Perseverance. You have to keep on pushing the ball forward. It may be yard by yard or it might be a long toss down the field, but you have to keep working on it. If you lose a game, you have to show up for practice on Monday and try again.
- Discipline. It starts with basic skills and as your mastery improves, there are layers added. Learning how to block, tackle, and read a play all come with practice. You repeat things over and over so that it becomes automatic. You improve physically and mentally each time you practice. You gain confidence and your body is more physically fit.
Sitting on the sidelines, I’ve realized that there are similarities in football and my faith. My Bible, my trust in God, my friends, my daily Bible readings, and the time spent putting my faith in action are all critical to me growing as a Christian. I have to “practice” and be disciplined and I need others to be my team mates.
I’ll let you know what lessons we learned after this weekend!
Director of Missions and Care