Faith Lessons from the Blue Team Soccer Coach
This is Ellie's NINTH season playing rec soccer. She loves everything about it. I've made it to almost every game but I can count on one hand the number of times I've sat and watched an entire practice. I always seem to find an hours worth of chores or tasks that I need to accomplish during practice time. I don't think I'm alone in that as I rarely see any parents camping out to watch practice. Last week, as I kissed my 9 year old good-bye and told her I'd see her in an hour, she said "Mommy, pleeeeeeeeease stay and watch this one practice. Will you please?" As any parent knows, there are certain ways your kids ask for your time that just pierce your heart. Suddenly I forgot what my important tasks and errands had been. I took my water bottle and a book out to the field (thinking I could at least make good use of the time and read).
Little did I know...I was mesmerized for the next 60 minutes.
About 10 minutes into the first scrimmage, her coach taught me a valuable life lesson. I know he didn't mean to. I know he didn't know I was listening or that I would HEAR what he said.
It all starting with a question posed to the girls..."Girls, when you are in the game and you're getting tired or you just can't go on anymore, what should you do?"
The 9 year old girls responded in unison..."RAISE OUR HAND!"
"and then what?"
"Make sure you SEE us coach"
"and then what?"
"Right. You make sure I see you. You put your hand down. And then you keep playing. You keep playing as if you've forgotten all about how tired you are. You don't look back and double check that I remember you. You trust that I SAW you and I will send in help as soon as I can...and then you just run and play your heart out some more"
The girls all nodded in agreement. They had definitely heard this instruction before and knew what they were supposed to do.
I, on the other hand, was almost in tears.
"ask for help....trust...keep playing"
How often have I been exhausted, dropped to my knees, prayed "God, please send help"...and then just waited, wondering if he heard, wondering if I should say it again. Maybe I didn't phrase it properly. Perhaps he was too busy at 7pm to hear me and I should check back in with another plea at 8 or 9 or both.
What if, in those moments, I just raised my hand to my Coach- telling him I need help- and then I just kept going. Kept playing hard holding on to a faith that HE did hear, and He WILL send help as soon as possible.
I'm not sure what else Ellie's coach said for the rest of practice. I spent the rest of my time in the grass just watching my daughter run her heart out, happy as she could be to be right there, in that moment...no help needed.
Next time I need help, I'm going for the ask...trust...play option. You?