Sunday, March 17, 2013

Miracle of Clarity on the Basketball Court

Abe and I have 6 children, but we're also watching 4 more children this weekend until Sunday night.  Yes... that makes 10 children!!  My in-laws left this afternoon, so we actually had 14 people in our little house last night.  It's a party in this house for sure!!! :-)

Today, we attended a theater performance, and the older children attended some theater classes and workshops.  We also visited the children's museum in between the classes.  After our little trips and eating and cleaning, Abe and I took all 10 children to the YMCA to play basketball.  We had enough people for 2 teams!!  The kids were playing great!!  They were all passing and shooting so nicely.

The girls played part of the time, and the other part of the time they ran on the track that circled the basketball courts.  Juliana, age 2, bear crawled, shook her behind, and twirled for 5 laps around the track.  Worried, I called out to a couple using the track and asked if she was in their way.  They smiled and said, "Oh no!  She's amusing us.  We like watching her."

I turned my attention back to the boys on the court.  I was surprised to see Tyson on the ground with his face contorted in pain, while Jordan stared at him in utter shock.  Apparently, Tyson had dribbled down for a lay-up, and in a panic, Jordan lunged onto his back causing Tyson's legs to buckle!  Tyson did a face-plant on the ground and was not happy that his little brother just took him out.  The other children stood on the court waiting quietly while Abe disciplined Jordan speaking firmly but not yelling.  Right while he was scolding him, the man on the track came straight towards us.

He had a serious look on his face, so I looked around for the 3 little girls.  I thought, "Oh my gosh, he's mad about something.  What are my kids doing wrong?"  It seemed to me like the walk towards us lasted forever because I had so many worries running through my head as he walked.  Once he finally reached us, he suddenly smiled very broadly, patted Abe on the back, and said, "You're doing a fantastic job getting all these kids to play so well together.  Keep up the great work."

Abe and I looked at each other like, "Really?  Did he just see what happened?"

Oh I'm sure he saw the tackle, but I believe that this man had been looking at the overall picture.  As he circled the courts, he had been watching how great ALL these kids had been playing the entire time.  Maybe he saw that little 7 yr. old Jordan was just playing extra aggressive to keep up with the bigger boys... he wasn't trying to hurt anyone.  While it's important to curb bad behavior, it's also important to see the behavior from the broader perspective.  Yes, Jordan needed to repent for his actions, but his mistake didn't discount all the good he had done for the last hour as he played with the sportsmanship of a champion.  He had some big boys to compete against, and he was still the best dribbler out there!

I sat on the bleachers holding our baby for quite some time feeling that the Holy Ghost had sent this man to teach me something deeper.  I knew I would need to ponder on this more later.

It wasn't until tonight that my mind was opened... the miracle of clarity!!

God knows that I identify a lot with sports, so he helped me to "see" his love through basketball.

Nobody would know but God how hard I am on myself each night.  I tear myself apart for each mistake I make.  I worry about every single thing I've said and done.  It wears me out feeling like such a failure and a loser each night because of my mistakes.  I keep promising to start over and do it right the next day.

I realized tonight that just as that man was watching Jordan's entire basketball game, God is watching my entire game of life.  He's taking into consideration my weaknesses and my knowledge, and He's not focusing on my missed shots or when I lose the ball.  He simply coaches me into better decisions.   

I have been putting so much pressure on myself to be the best mother and wife that I literally erase all my points off the score board every time I mess up.  I want a perfect game, but God is not requiring a perfect game of me.  I need to repent daily, but repentance does not equate with loser.  Repentance means letting go of the sin and keeping the good in my life.  It's really quite beautiful... to erase the bad and keep the good.  THAT means I can keep tallying up my good points day to day.  Repentance is not erasing my points; repentance is erasing my opponent's points!!  I had that confused!  I thought I had to keep starting over.  God wanted me to just continue...