The boys had their first t-ball game this weekend. I have to admit I prayed A LOT that morning. At practices, they decide they are done listening to their coaches and wander off the field to wrestle or beg for snack or attempt to use the dugout as their own personal jungle gym.
As a mother, it is hard to watch your child disobey other adults. I always tell my son before each practice, “It doesn’t matter if you catch every ball, or if you have a great swing or a silly swing, as long as you are respectful to your coaches and your team and stay on the field, Mommy is proud of you.”
I get that they are young. They are also some of the few first time players on the team, but I want so badly for both of them to have some structure, some fun, and to feel a part of something. It makes me so happy when all of their family members are cheering for them. That has to feel great to a little boy!
So far, the ability, or rather the willingness, to stay on the field has been pretty nonexistent. We may get a good 10 minutes out of them and then they are off to brother adventure time.
This game was kind of a big deal and I didn’t want their coach to be as frustrated as he likely was at practices with them. They had moments, but with some guidance and a little bribery, they played the entire game.
All they had to do was stay on the field. I do recall a mid-game outfield wrestling match, but they stayed on the field. There were times of drawing in the dirt, but they stayed on the field. They had moments of cheering from their fans and they had moments of laughter when they did silly things (like hit the ball off the ground like a golf ball because it didn’t quite go far enough). They stayed on the field! The biggest win for them: they got prizes.
In life I make mistakes. Every day I make mistakes. I take wrong turns. I speak harshly. I forget something really important. I lose my temper. I feel bitter. Those things happen. God knows those things are bound to happen. All He wants from us, is to stay on the field. He wants us to aim for godliness even if it’s a very high bar to reach.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Boy, do I mess those directions up. I think only of my idea of justice and don’t try to aim for God’s justice. I speak with sass and judgement and leave kindness at the door. I have days where walking humbly with God feels impossible. I want to fix and mend my own problems without even thinking of turning them over.
Truth is, we all make these mistakes. God knows we are imperfect. He knew we needed saving. He knows we are all sinners. All He wants us to do is stay on the field. He wants to be sure we don’t abandon our appointed positions. He wants us to be there for our team. He desires for us to listen to His instruction. He wants us to tell our opponents “Good game” and shake their hand.
When we stay on the field, God cheers. We can try and fail a million times, but His grace is overwhelming. It covers us. It is enough. We just have to try again.
There will be distractions and temptations. We will want to wrestle and climb and wander off after our own foolish desires or motives. There’s no place too far to turn back and head back to the field. There is no unsuccessful practice that cannot lead to a great game.
God promises the ultimate prize. It is sweeter and more precious than any action figure we can give to the boys. He promises us the most amazing eternity. The greatest reward. We just have to stay on the field.