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Being Our Best

By Patti Chadwick



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 sports."

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 worth it?

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 History’s Women, an online magazine highlighting the extraordinary achievements of women throughout history.

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