Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Once Played This Game

I once played soccer. I played from 8 years old until I was a junior in high school. I have even tried my hand at indoor soccer as a grown up. It was the sport of my youth. I grew up standing in the backfield in the rain while the good players, the boys, went up and scored goals. I sucked the juice out of orange slices and the smell of wet mud and grass takes me right back to the fields of my childhood.

I am amazed by the fact that I once played the same game that the US Women's National Team is playing in the World Cup. Obviously I played with the same ball, cleats and rules, but I really did not play the same game. I love World Cups, Olympics, any major sporting event finals. I love the thrill of victory but hate to see the agony of defeat. Seeing the US women come back in their quarter finals game in extra time and then win the game on penalty kicks was inspiring. 

The game may look over. 

Life might not be fair. 

But we need to keep playing and playing hard. We need to keep striving, working hard, and staying focused on the goal. 

I need to do this. I need to keep working, keep focused on the goal. 

But there are so many distractions. So many fun things to do with my day. So many insecurities that make it easy to let up, make it easy to just go through the motions until time runs out. 

As a child, I often just wanted to get the game over with so we could get out of the cold rain. Sometimes though, when I worked hard, when I ran after the ball intent to win it, when I stood my ground and sent the forward away from my goal, I had fun. I felt strong. I felt powerful. I felt valuable. 

This was not because I was valuable. I was not. I was never a great soccer player. But when I worked hard, when I went for it without reservation, I felt good. I walked away from the game, win or lose, fulfilled in that moment. 

Like the saying goes, it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. I want to play the game without reservation. I want to live life focused and strong. I want to know that I have responded to the tugs on my heart and passions God has given me. I want to live a life worthy. 

1 comment:

  1. I want to live without reservations too. Great analogy to the game. Amazingly inspirational!