I mean lessons for ME! lol I am seriously not a sports person. I enjoyed playing softball and basketball when I was a kid, but in high school I was a cheerleader. As a Baptist, it was the closest thing I could get to dancing! :)
Marrying a coach and giving birth to two males pretty much sealed my fate. I was destined to spend the next 20 years sitting in bleachers and camp chairs at a variety of sidelines in all kinds of weather. Usually, after the mad rush to feed everyone and get there on time, it is fun. The parents on the sidelines are sort of a ragtag tribe as we drive all over, following our favorite players. Even if we are from different schools, you start to recognize the other teams' parents because they are always there.
It's funny because normally, I could not care less about who wins a game, but put my kid out on the court or the field and all that changes. Suddenly, I feel completely within my rights to tell the ref or umpire what he is doing wrong. My blood pressure goes up, and it usually takes my husband (who is annoyingly unflappable) of looking at me like I have lost my mind to make me sit down and be quiet.
Tonight, my oldest son Brock was in his 8th grade basketball tournament against arch rivals, the Perry Commodores. It was nip and tuck all night. We'd pull ahead four or five points and then the Commodores would hit us with a full out press, forcing turnovers or walking calls on our guys.
My son is the point guard, which means he runs the plays. He's the focus of all that lovely defensive energy from the other team as he brings the ball up the court. Tonight, I could see his nerves jangling as he worked the ball up the court. His shots were off and he turned over the ball a few times at key points in the game, but overall, he did well. He took care of the ball.
You have to know something about Brock. While I am NOT self-disciplined AT ALL. He has been disciplined since basically the womb. He was about 7 years old when he gravely informed me he needed to study on Monday for his test Friday. He patiently explained to me (his mother who was wondering why we were reviewing spelling words for a test 4 days away) that on Tuesday he had a game and on Wednesday he had AWANA and on Thursday he another game. Um, okay. I didn't realize children came pre-programmed as "very responsible." If I'd known, I'd have ordered more of them! lol
Because of his high level of self-discipline, he works at his basketball game. It's very important to him. He spends hours shooting from various points on the court and he shot hundreds, probably thousands, of free throws this summer, rain or shine. He was dedicated.
Tonight, all that practice, all that sweat, all that time, paid off for him. He had the last free throws of the game. We were ahead by one point and there was very little time left on the clock. The tension in the gym was palpable - it pulsed with expectations and hopes. I had my eyes squeezed shut, frantically fanning myself, praying for Brock to just shut out all the noise and do what he knew to do best - just shoot.
Swish went the first shot. Now we were up by two and Perry would have to hit a 3 pointer to win. Quiet fell again as the ref bounced the ball back to him. I squeezed my eyes shut again and waved my fan faster as Perry screamed "Miss it!" Swish, the second basket went in. Brock's only points tonight were 5 out of 6 free throws. He was nervous with the pressure of the tournament game, but he stepped up to that line and shot the ball. And he made his shots.
The last 9 seconds of the clock ran down as the Perry players put up two seperate shots that were short of the mark. Our fans were screaming and shouting - the bleachers were vibrating. I didn't scream or shout. Instead, I looked at my boy. He had tears in his eyes. It was that important to him, and the fact that he made those shots - well, I had tears in my eyes, too. Not because I just love basketball so much, but because it is so important to Brock. He's my boy - what's important to him, is important to me, as well.
I know it is just a game. I know that losing carries with it it's own lesson, but tonight, tonight he could celebrat a hard fought win. Tonight, he learned a different lesson: practice and hard work pay off. His head and heart were nervous, but his muscles remembered.
As I watched the pure joy on his face, I caught a glimpse of what God must feel when we hit the winning shots so to speak - when our practice of obeying and doing what is right pays off. God is rooting for us - He is in our corner. He is the God of the Universe but our concerns concern Him. I think God smiled when those two shots swished through the net. I know He smiled when Brock handed out tracts to a couple of the Perry players before the game. Muscle memory works for more than just basketball.
~ Blessings, Bronte