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.
Have you ever heard the term that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree? I have heard this saying many times. It is used when someone thinks that a person is like their father or mother, usually in a derogatory way. Let’s take our minds to an apple tree standing on the hill barring apples. Some fall before they are ripe. Some fall and are destroyed by the fall. Some fall and spoil by the way side. Same goes for the ones that are eaten by wildlife. There are a few though that are picked just right, washed, prepared and placed at the super market in all their beauty. You see, the apple contains the seed from the tree. It is how the tree reproduces it’s kind. The apple contains the seed for the future generations. Just as the the apple we cannot help what tree we come from. We can though try to prosper and be the best example of what we are. Our children, just like the apples that fall from the tree need nourishment. Watched over so they don’t fall in life and get destroyed. We must protect them from the wild animals of life, while letting them get ripen on their own. When the storm winds blow we must lay out the fleece for them to fall into. Help pick them back up taking special interest not to bruise them. Just as the apple come from a certain breed of tree, we come from a family name. From there though we make our own destiny. We must take special care not to judge someone by their name. Just because a parent or grandparent done certain things in their life does not mean you or I will. You have your own conscience. You know right from wrong. Good from evil. Listen to what you feel. If something feels wrong then it probably is. Take time to help the youth that they may grow strong. Be your own person but remember where you come from. Every tree started from a sapling. It had to have good conditions to grow. If we do not watch over our children and try to make a good home for them then the weeds of life will smother them out. When I say a good home I don’t mean to surround them with riches. I mean surround them with love. A father and mother who would give their life for them. I father and mother that will discipline their children, but have compassion doing so. Teach them right from wrong. Good from evil. Give them condolence when things go wrong. Help them when they mess up. Don’t just criticize them for their faults. If we follow these things then our children will grow strong like the apple tree on the hill and they too will one day bare fruit. The next time a challenge comes up, things don’t go right for you or your family, remember the apple tree on the hill.
If someone asked you who was the most perfect person in the world who would it be? A preacher or minister you know? How about a special teacher, community leader or coach. What about your Mom and Dad? Maybe Grandma and Grandpa? Chances are if you asked one hundred people you would get one hundred answers. What makes someone perfect? Kindness. Love. Money. Leadership. The truth is no matter what anyone thinks, no one is perfect. No one. Even if there were, one person opinion of perfect will be gravely different from the next person. Everyone has someone in their life that is special. Someone that seems perfect. My grandfather in my eyes was perfect. He was a God fearing man that tried to be honest and truthful in life. Now I know he was human and no doubt made many mistakes but he tried his best. That is all that is required from us. I have a business acquaintance that recently had a change in his life. He secretly decided to start trying to live better. Slow to place judgment. Fast to give forgiveness. He started watching what he said and what conversations he was involved in. I told him one day that he was different. He shared his story with me that he had a small child at home and wanted to live the best he could in front of the child. See my friend and colleague changed for his child. An amazing thing happened. His change showed up in his daily life. People started taking notice and his life change spread to others around him. No he is not perfect nor will he ever be but he is trying and people are taking notice. As I had said in past post you will be remembered by the fruits you bare. Did you ever have dealings with someone that was rude or just plain mean? I bet if someone asked you about this person you would remember them by those actions. Maybe they were just having a bad day. Who knows what was going on in there life. My point is, we should try our best. People remember the bad as much as the good. That person might be a really good person and you caught them in a bad situation but your opinion of them is set. Sure it can be changed but that first impression goes along way. People pay attention to your actions. Children have eyes on you all the time. My friend made a change in secret but everyone noticed. We have one life. One name. Once it is tarnished it may take the rest of your life to get past it. You may never. Try your best. Be polite. Just make a point to try. I bet someone, some child, some adult will notice. If you do your best you might leave behind a legacy that someone will say you were the perfect person.
Have you ever looked up in the blue sky and saw a large bird soaring above? Often on a pretty sunny day you can look up and see these large birds soaring with the wind. Where did they come from? Where are they going? Often I see things, or can relate to natural occurring events and compare it to life in general. This is the case with these magnificent birds flying overhead. They sway to left and then to the right, going wherever the winds take them. Just the case so often with life. If you will have it we are just like the bird hovering above. The wind of life takes us this way and that way. We often get blown this way and that not ever looking down at the beautiful scenery. Take time to appreciate the day the lord has give. Be happy in it. If the wind of life blows you a little off course, remember the wind will disappear when it is time and you can get back on coarse. Enjoy the scenery, for this day will never be again. You cannot repeat. You cannot hit rewind. So what if it isn’t the way you planned. Like the bird that is off coarse, don’t fight it for you will just wear yourself out. Be happy in it and enjoy the scenery. Nighttime is coming and the birds flight will be over. No matter if he accomplished what he set out to do or not. When the sun sets it is time for him to come out of the sky. His flight is over. Just as the bird, the sunset is coming for every person walking the earth. Be prepared that your flight will end. If you live long enough the age of the body will keep you down, so enjoy the flight you are in. Go with the wind. It might take you somewhere wonderful. Help the young. Help them get established so they are prepared for their own flight. Take a step back and look at your flight. Have the winds pushed you to far one way or another. Can you still see where you are going. What about where you have been. Sometime looking back at where you have been or where you come from is just as important as where you are going. Remember how you was raised and what you have been taught over the years. Check the horizon. Is the sun beginning to set. Is your flight coming to a close. The next time you fill down or are having a bad day stop and think of the bird. Breathe, and enjoy the scenery just as the bird in flight.
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.
I wake up to the alarm sounding off at several decimals higher than it needs to be. Wipe the sleep from my eyes and head for the shower. What will the day ahead bring. Not just for me but the world as well. What news will break? Who will get shot, abused, stabbed or robbed? What good thing will happen today? Who will be born into the world? Who will create the next big break through? Who will develop the cure for some terrible disease? The truth is that the day has not been written yet. It is there for the taking. Don’t get me wrong, I know somethings can not be helped but it is yet to be set in stone. We should wake up everyday excited about the opportunity ahead. If things are going like you want them too then be excited for another fabulous day. If things are not going as you want them to then be happy you have one more day to fix it. Make it right. If your health is good then be happy your so blessed. Someone out there is confined to their bed. If your health is bad, be thankful to be alive, see one more sunrise. Be proud that God has give you one more day to love, be loved, and just live. Sure your day may bring stress on top of stress. You may think it is horrible, but at night when you come home to your family remember someone didn’t get to see their family again. You say my job is terrible. Be thankful you have a job. Someone is out of work and hungry. No matter the circumstance I guarantee you someone has it worse. If you wake up in a country that is not in a war zone plagued with starvation then you are blessed past a lot of the world. The food we eat, water we drink, roof over our heads are all blessing that we take for granted. If we get to hug our children and send them to school for an education. All these things we do everyday and not think twice about it. Often complaining about it. To much work, to hot, to cold. We have grown as a society of chronic complainers. Let’s quit complaining and take back our lives. The attitude you have for the day is 80% of how your day will be. Have a good attitude and you can overcome anything. Have a bad attitude and anything will get you down. Your attitude affects everyone around you. Be happy and they will be happy. Be sad and they will be sad. Tonight take time to thank the Lord for your blessings. Hug your spouse, children, family if you have them. Take back the day ahead.