Being Our Best
I don't know how it happened, but I
ended up with a very sports-minded family. I am one of the least
athletic people you will ever meet. God did not instill in me either
the talent or love of the game. I don't even particularly like
sports - either as a participant or a spectator, but every one of my
children has ended up an athlete.
From the time my kids were little they've been involved in Little
League Baseball, Girls Softball, Youth Football, Summer Soccer, and
Youth Basketball. My children have always faired pretty well in the
sporting arena; they always got to play their fair share of the game
and usually had starting positions.
One thing I have noticed however, is that the older the kids get,
the stiffer the competition. While they used to take for granted
that they'd be a significant member of their team, my teens have
found that it's not always that easy anymore. In fact, if they want
to even MAKE the team they have to give it their all-out effort -
and sometimes even that isn't good enough.
My daughter has had a tough basketball season. As a freshman on the
JV Squad, she didn't get much playing time this year - something
she's not used to. After one particularly frustrating day, she came
to me with a concern. "Mom," she started, "remember when I used to
be good at the things I did? I used to be known as a good softball
player and I was a starter on basketball and soccer in middle
school. I'm just not good anymore. I think I'm going to quit
I didn't really know what to say. I never liked sports anyway, so my
first instinct was to do a little dance to celebrate the idea of no
more practices and sitting through her games, but I quickly put my
emotions in check. This was serious. My girl was experiencing a real
dip in her self- confidence. She was realizing that she might not be
the "best" in the athletic arena and she was searching to find her
own "niche'". I sensed that this would be a "teachable moment" in
which I could share with her a great truth from God's word.
Why is it that people always feel the need to be the very best at
what they do? Why is there so much competition in this world to be
the "top dog"? Why isn't the emphasis on doing OUR best, instead of
being THE best? After all, doesn't Romans 12:4-10 tell us that we
are all members of one body and we each have different gifts to
offer in service? No one part of the body of Christ is of more
importance than the other.
After a long silence, I asked my girl if she enjoyed being part of
the team and enjoyed participating in sports. She answered in the
affirmative, so I went on to remind her that she was still young and
if she was able to stick with it, she might have her "day" when she
was a junior or senior. And even if she didn't, as long as she tried
her very best and had fun along the way, wouldn't the hard work be
I think my feeble attempt to encourage my daughter to "keep on
keeping on" had a positive affect. She did finish out the basketball
season while I continued to faithfully sit on the sidelines cheering
her on when she made it in the game. And I just found a Girls Summer
Soccer League application on my desk. I guess she decided that being
HER best was more important than being THE best and that being part
of a team is indeed worth the effort.
Patti Chadwick is the creator of
Family Tymes the online magazine that provides encouragement
for today's busy family. She is also the creator of
Women, an online magazine highlighting the extraordinary
achievements of women throughout history.
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