Thursday, May 16, 2013

Extracurricular Idols

There is something going on where I reside that disturbs my soul, and I'm not talking about all the burger joints opening up - can we please get some variety in Katy, TX? I am excited about Macaroni House- whatever that is! and Carrabba's! Yo, those are just down my street! I might walk there- HAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAAHHAAA oh I kill me!

Let me first say what I believe to be happening is immense pressure put upon moms and dads to achieve __________ and our kids to be masters at ___________.

I know that I am not making some new insight that will be published in some journal of new insights by saying that we are pushing our kids too hard.

I'm blown away at the overinvolvement of sports/extras here. Particularly at "Clubs" and "Companies" and "Pro" and "Top Tier Paying Hundreds a Month to Play Sport/Dance/Cheer Group.

How do I bring this up without sounding biased or judgey? I pray I don't come across as such.

Let me just tell you as a one-kidder Mom, because moms with only 1 kid know so much, we pray we will not be making an idol of our child and we pray we do not make idols for our child.

I hear one way or the other all the time from girls in middle school or high school or even elementary ages:
"Cheer was my life. But then I was injured, and I didn't know what to live for."
So, is it safe to say that cheering is an idol here?

"Please pray that I will make the team! I don't know what I will do if I don't."
 SO MUCH PRESSURE. How about just be a kid and go to school and hang out with friends?
Oh wait, all those friends are playing volleyball. In a city an hour away. On Sunday.

"Oh she has to make this team, or she can't get a scholarship."
I want to understand this so much. I do. I understand that college is completely unaffordable for many.

I don't mean to pull what Jon Acuff calls a "Jesus Juke" on you guys, but doesn't God provide the scholarships ultimately?

My mindset needs to be centered on my kid's activities for why?
Don't you see moms and dads and countrymen alike, that if OUR focus is on these activities by: driving them to and fro,
skipping church on Sunday to partake in such and such tournament,
spending TONS on this and that and private this, and uniforms that,
talking about it incessantly,
forsaking schoolwork for it,
living out our dreams through them (so easy to do)
Then please tell me WHY WON'T IT BE THEIR ONLY FOCUS?!?

You have created an idol for your child unknowingly. And it's so easy to do.

Let's say God in His infinite and incomprehensible wisdom decides it would be best for your child to:
Not make the team.
Not win that game.
Miss the practice because of illness or car trouble.
Be on JV instead of Varsity.
Not have the money to pay for such and such.
Allow your child to suffer injury as a building lesson.

What happens then? The idol/focus/centering dissolves and crumbles and so does your child's worth/focus/centering. It was never meant to support your child in the first place.

You might be tempted to label me an athlete-hater. Wrong. I'm crazy competitive and go for blood. I love a good game with two equally matched teams. I love to watch someone who has honed their skills to a mastery level achieve honor and be humble about it. That's a thing of beauty.

I watched Rudy at least twice a week at aTm as a source of fuel and encouragement.

Let me propose to you:

What if your kid is meant to be a walk-on?

Don't you think that God can handle that?

Why the extreme emphasis on the activities? I'm saying extreme.

I think team sports and individual sports are amazingly good and so great for teaching life lessons.

 Yeah, I played soccer and got playing time, but I shouldn't have. I totally sucked! I was a forward and never scored a goal. I should've played defense. But whatever, I learned to keep trying and I'm thankful for that as embarrassing as that was.

I used to take English riding lessons and show and got bucked off my horse in the middle of a show. I literally (That's using the term correctly you see...) had to get back on the horse to complete the mission.

Maybe God has placed you on your team to, I don't know, be a witness to others? Awesome. Do that.

Can we let His glorification be the focus and not our child's or own? And can we please bring fun back???

There are some true legends out there that were born to play. Born to entertain. Who do you think made them that way? You guessed it. THE Creator and Coach.

If you haven't watched the classic film, Chariots of Fire, I highly recommend it.

Watch it to see what a true Christian athlete is. Uncompromising and not of the world.

This mindset could be carried on to so many levels. I'm only a photographer because that is just one way that God chooses to work through me as to glorify Him. You wanna talk about competition? Pish posh! Rubbish.

God brings my clients and leads and I just do what He's told me to do.

Your job? That's the team that God put you on.Why don't you challenge yourself to see your workplace as a team that God selected you to be on and find out who needs to see Jesus today. That's what a true champion does.

Honestly, in our souls I think we know we are of value (To God) but we get it twisted and place that value on accolades and awards. I think our hearts hunger for those awards, medals, ribbons and trophies.

To teach our kids about the unseen awards, plaques, trophies and ribbons has become my goal in life. To show my child how to have true Kingdom focus.

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