Football season is about to start for this year. Yep, see you all in September!!
I don’t mean sitting a watching football on the TV. I mean that my young men, my sons, play Rugby League. I will spend the next 7 months as taxi driver, nurse, cleaner, canteen volunteer, and their number one fan and cheer squad.
My two boys are at their first football training session this afternoon. I suspect that they are going to come home sweaty, stinky and exhausted. It is still very hot this afternoon, I also suspect that they are also going to come home desperately needing to shower and cool off.
One day, I asked both the boys what they enjoyed about playing such a rough sport. Their answers amused me. My eldest one said the fitness and the team comradery. My youngest one said that he got to smash other kids and to tackle. (note my pained expression) BTW, the picture that heads this blog is of my youngest son. He loves to tackle!!
As a footy mum, I will spend the next 7 months running the boys to various locations around our large district, and cleaning mud and dirt from their clothes, shoes and our car. I will buy oodles of strapping tape, painkillers, heat rub and food.
Oh… and did I mention food?
As I have said before God speaks to me through very simple things in life.
I am the type of mum that cheers them on in their pursuits in life, encourages them and pushes them to keep their commitments, all the while holding my breath every time they get injured. There are times that I turn away with tears in my eyes when I see them hit the ground and take their time to get up.
The Holy Spirit encourages me forward, helping me to my feet when I fall. Scripture floods my mind when I hurt and gives peace when I am troubled.
I watch the boy’s coach pat them on the shoulder, and encourage them to push harder. The coach will help them with their flaws and weaknesses and place them where their strengths are more like to be used to the max.
My Heavenly Father reminds me that I have made a commitment to Him, that my heart must remain in the game with Him as my coach. He will place me where He can help me in my weaknesses and where the strengths that I have are providing the best for those around me. He will also let me know when I have let the “team” down, and remind me that through Him I can do what He knows I can do.
While footy season to my sons, is about the team and the game, the season for me is about making sure they get their rest and pace their busy lives well.
Often to me life is about the everyday, making sure every family member is looked after and getting things done that I rarely seem to have time for. My Father -He knows the bigger plans. He is watching me and reminding me that I can rely on Him when I get exhausted, when I am in pain and when I simply do not want to run onto the field to play one more game. I watch as He paces my life and stops me from getting myself too busy.
This blog has just taken a turn…
My two sweaty teenage boys have come in and walk past me. Their faces are red and they complaining that they hurt all over. Even as fit as they are, they are going to hurt tomorrow. I think my words to them were something like this – “You feel it now, but give it a few weeks and it won’t hurt anymore.”
I can feel God nod His head in my direction. “yes, Father, I too hurt.”
“I need you to do some training.”
Oops…didn’t think He noticed!!
So, before Him now I have handed Him two situations that are really hurting me right now. I feel the pain as He trains me in the area of forgiveness. I really wanted to leave it alone and pretend that by sitting on my backside it would go away.”
“Walk Ruth,” I hear Him say, “Walk with the decision to hand it over this that you carry. This is faith. Do you trust me to work through everything in your life? Even those that seem to have no change?”
(Oh my goodness.. those faith muscles again!!!)
“I have trained and trained in this area so many times, Father, nothing has changed. I have given it to you before.”
“Yes, but does it hurt as much this time.”
“Was it easier to hand it to me?”
“How is your faith?”
(I flex it, it feels stiff), ”Yeah..ok, I didn’t realise that I would be so stiff!”
“Remain trained in the area of forgiveness, never stop forgiving. Anger and resentment do not seem to cause you to be unfit, but it stops you from being your best. I will continue to enlarge your faith, until eternity, without this you will not continue forward.”
I know what He means. He is now silent. I am grateful for the best Coach, Counsellor, and God that shows mercy and knows me well.
While I know, there will be times when my children hurt and are in pain, I will be there for them. There are times they want to give up, but I will not let them. There are times when it is too early to get up, but I will pull there blankets off them and give them a hot drink to wake them. There will be times when the drive is long, but we will do it anyway.
Because every achievement is good and is better when you do it as a team. While they must play and train, I go through it will them.
My God does the same. He cannot walk this walk on this earth for me, but He is “doing this life with me”. He is fully here with me in everything.
For that, I am eternally grateful.