One of my sons is in his senior year of high school. We celebrated the end of his soccer season last night. Three years ago, we were celebrating the end of a different season for him, and we didn’t realize it would be his last in that sport. Following that season, his values were mocked by the coach and friends he has made in that sport, and he felt God wanted him to leave it. He never intended to go find something else to play, but as God usually proves, He had a different plan.
For these last three years, our son has played soccer. He played it for the physical activity, and he gave it his whole heart, for the love of his friends, his band of brothers. He was more suited to play a different sport, but his stature brought unique skills to soccer. There actually was an unexpected niche’ for him in this new sport.
Though the team lost a lot of great senior players last year and my son and his friends knew this year would be a tough one, he stuck with it. When he could’ve returned to play a different sport, one in which he excelled, he remained faithful to the team who had come alongside him and supported his principles when the other guys let him down. Our son gave his all this soccer season, with very little recognition, and he even scored a goal. He did it all for the love of his friends, his band of brothers, and to support the team that had supported him and given him a place of acceptance.
I admire my son’s decision and perseverance. I don’t know that I would’ve had the courage, selflessness, or loyalty to do the same. I know he has grown spiritually because of his decisions and that God will continue to honor his choice to keep Christ as number one, with friends, family, church, and school all coming before athletics.
Now, he will go to college next year and most likely will be playing another new sport, Rugby! This will be a new adventure and challenge, but it may prove to be the perfect combination of the skills he’s developed in the last 6 years of middle and high school sports. I’m excited for this opportunity for him, but more than anything, I anticipate God’s continued work in the life of my son, through his sport as well as all the other priorities in his life. I’m proud of the example he has set for others, including myself!