Thursday, March 21, 2013

Punching Bags & Door Mats

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Our oldest son started playing tackle football for the first time almost three weeks ago. Hold on, let me catch my breath! Okay, I'm over it. Seriously, I was so nervous at first. Now, not so much. Andrew is a very timid young man. To be honest, I don't know if he has a mean bone in his body -- at least he's never displayed it. But, it was his choice and request to play tackle football. 

Here we are $350 later still waiting for him to get up enough courage to tackle and/or be tackled many, many times. He has been using many reasons as to why he is not good enough. Boy oh boy! These last few weeks sure have hit home for me as a mama, a wife, and a human being. 

Not good enough?! YES. YOU. ARE. Andrew, God made you good enough. He didn't make you half way. He made you completely perfect, in HIS image! Gracious! There are so many lessons we are learning in this time of tackle football. 

Today, as I was cleaning the kitchen up after doing some baking, a song popped into my head (see below). It isn't a Christian song, so forgive me on that. Yes, we do still listen to Country Music within reason. Before I finished up the kids' lunch, Andrew and I did some blocking in our living room. We would get into position and he would put his hands on my shoulders to try and push me back. He couldn't. Yes, I could have let up, but remember he's playing tackle football -- not flag football. People aren't going to care about taking it easy on him. Why should I? I want him to get ready and be prepared for tonight's practice. There were a few things that I showed him with footing and digging those cleats into the ground as though they've just been staked to the spot he's in. I told him to dig deep and push the other guy back. By the last "play" him and I did he was getting it. I could tell. It was awesome! :) I kept telling him, "Don't let me push you! Don't let me push! Push me back Andrew! That's it! Push! Dig deeper, buddy!" As I progressed in saying these things, there's more excitement, determination, strength in my voice. When it clicked, it was a pretty neat thing to see on his face!! 

Andrew and I talked about how he must get "mean" to play tackle football. He did reply with "I can't." And I told him, "Yes you CAN. It's okay to do it with this sport. It's a game. You're not going out there to intentionally hurt someone." We talked about how if he can't push back and can't tackle someone, then he WILL get pushed around and stepped on. It was a good opportunity to show him how to tackle football is similar to life. 

Life is like punching bags and door mats. 

I shared with him that he must push back and must tackle someone. That's the sport! Other players are NOT going to care about him enough not to push him around and push him to the ground. I told him that he is not someone's punching bag or door mat for someone's cleat. Of course he laughed and I giggled, but I told him that in all seriousness that's how it is in real life. 

We talked about fear and how in football he cannot show fear on his face to his opponent. The opponent will use that to his advantage. It's the same way in life: Satan wants us to be held captive by fear. God says that He is not the one that gave us the spirit of fear, but He gave us POWER, love, and self control (sound mind) (2 Timothy 1:7). No matter what is going on, fear is NOT from God. I told Andrew when he gets tired, he must dig deeper to keep going until the game is over. That he is not to back down to anyone that comes up against him, to push back, don't look behind him, stay forward, and push full speed ahead. 

We talked about how offense and defense are a unit, not separate from each other. Each has a purpose -- offense scores points and defense stops the other team from scoring points. There is no separation. The primary goal is to win -- as a TEAM! To come out as number one! Scripture tells us that here in this life those who want to be the greatest will be last later and those who are last now will be first then (Matthew 19:30). This scripture is not about the sport of football, rather about our attitude, pride, and arrogance. I told him that he is not to have a high minded sense about himself where he becomes arrogant and thinks "I'm better than you" or "We're better than you". 

Anyway, Jason Aldean's song "The Only Way I Know" is what came to me to share with Andrew. Here is the chorus portion: 

That's the only way I know
Don't stop 'til everything's gone
Straight ahead never turn 'round
Don't back up don't back down
Full throttle wide open
You get tired and you don't show it
Dig a little deeper when you think you can't dig no more
That's the only way I know

I leave you with this: 

There will be people who come into our lives, whether friends, foes, or strangers, who will try to push us around, try to knock us to the ground, and step all over us. That must not be so. We are children of God and HE IS the Commander in life. There will be battles (situations) that we must endure, but GOD is the one that will fight for you, as long as you remain still and trust him (Exodus 14:14, Jeremiah 1:19, Deuteronomy 20:4, Ephesians 6:11-14, James 4:7). Not still as in doing nothing. But still as in TRUSTING HIM to overcome that thing, situation, or opponent. 

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