Have you ever got the chance to attend a youth ball game. Maybe you are lucky enough to have a child that plays youth sports. Congratulations! Youth sports are a very big part of American life. Maybe too big. Sure there is a small number that benefit from it to the point of college scholarships or even a career as a professional athlete. This is a very small percentage. Most children who are playing these sports won’t get the scholarships or the career as a professional. Sure, they benefit from sportsmanship, life skills of winning, losing, and setting goals. Making yourself better. The down side is so many kids also learn what it is like to never be good enough. Parents may love their children more than the world and only want to help but so often set a terrible example. I once attended a basketball game that my son was in and felt so bad for a player on the opposite team. He was a good player but not a super star. This young man was as good as anyone else there that night but not the player that his Dad had dreams of him being. Let’s get to his Dad. His Dad had done good in life, was a medical doctor, and had riches of the world. The problem was, he couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time. He was on his son the whole game. Screaming, yelling, jumping, cursing. He made a fool of himself. It was so bad one of the refs stopped the game and told him he would have to calm down or leave. Now I am all about freedom and raising your children as you see fit, but we must stop and think is this helping. Is this making our children better people? This young man left the game with his head hung low. He was so embarrassed and felt worthless. The young man is now in college. He is playing no sports. He simply wasn’t good enough. Just like the majority of kids. He is very intelligent and will do good for himself. So, did that night years ago gain anything? I say no. It only crushed his self esteem. He is right where he would be in life if his Dad had praised him for doing his best. We must watch how we act towards our children. These things will be remembered by them for years to come. Praise your children. Be proud of them and let them know. Unless you are Michael Jordon or Labron James then you have no right to talk down to these kids as this doctor did. He wanted his son to be what he wasn’t. Let the kids have fun. It is about them, not the parents. Kids are only kids once. Let them be happy and have fun.
The yard needs mowing, the clothes need washing and supper needs cooking. Tomorrow starts early because you have a meeting at 7:30 AM. You have a meeting with Johnny’s Teacher at 11:00 and little Susie has softball practice at 4:00. You need to swing by the grocery and the car needs gas. Does all these things sound familiar? Everyday we hustle to make appointments and deadlines that are set for us. What if the ultimate deadline was set? What if you knew without a doubt that one month from today at this very time you would die. It would be over. Finished in this world. How much different would we be. Would you stress over that meeting at work or the house work that needs doing. Of course you wouldn’t. Would your priorities change? Sure they would. We never know the time and hour that we will leave this world. We have no promise for tomorrow. We may only live a minute longer. If we knew that it was about over I bet every Church in America would be packed Sunday morning. The sick and elderly would be visited one last time. That grudge you have held for years would be forgiven. Suddenly how much money that your check register showed would not matter. The glass of chocolate milk that little Johnny spilled down the sofa wouldn’t bother you at all. The new car that your neighbor just bought that you were secretly jealous over would have no meaning at all. You would probably put a little more in the offering plate when it is passed because you won’t need it. Sometimes our priorities get all messed up as adults. We should live, laugh, and love. Be kind to one another. Pray daily. Have fun in life. Life is way to short to sweat the small stuff. Spend time with your family, for you don’t know how much longer you will have them with you. Let the things of this world that don’t matter go to the back burner. Nobody wants to die, but maybe life would be better if. We lived like we were dying.
When you was a kid, did you ever play hot potato? I remember playing the game. Kids would get in a big circle and throw a potato around to one another to the sound of music mimicking tossing a real potato that was hot. The object of the game would be to not get stuck with the potato in hand when the music stopped. Each time the music would stop and whoever was holding the potato would be disqualified from the game. Then the music would start over and go through the same process again until it was down to one person. They would be declared the winner. It is funny what we can learn from a child’s game. Every day as adults we get up and start juggling our day. We have got to balance our careers, families, school, volunteer work, obligations,church, aging parents. The list goes on and on. We go so wrapped up in life that we focus entirely on that hot potato. We get so busy and competitive to beat the next person in line that we often lose sight of the main objective of the game. The child’s game should be played to socialize and spend time with friends. It should be fun. Everyday as we juggle life and focus on work (that hot potato) we slowly lose sight of the real things in life. Sure we have to work to pay the bills. We have to have shelter. We have got to have food, meds and basic things of life. As a human being we strive for more and more possession. It is only normal. We want our children to have it better than we did. So many times though we push to much in our schedules only to see that we actually neglect what our children need. They need mama and daddy. They need to be loved. They need to be hugged. The world is so educated now that people are smarter than they have ever been, but has it paid off? Women used to be able to stay at home and raise their children. Now let me say that if a woman has a career and is happy then I am all for it. I am in no way a sexist, but if she is having to work just to make ends meet and the children have got to attend day care are they really benefitting? Could we drop a few things out of our schedule to be there for them. Dads could you take off early from work just because. Just because. No reason. Just to spend sometime with the family. Do we really need that new car? That big house? What about that time share? The country club membership? Let’s all stop and pay attention before we get burned by that hot potato.