My son has started the Fall soccer season. He is in the “Under-7” league now and we have certainly picked up the pace! Two practices during the week and at least 1 game per weekend. I realize this is just the beginning, and doesn’t even compare to what it will be like when he is older. I don’t even want to imagine the balancing act we’ll have in 5-10 years for extra-curricular activities – and we only have 2 kids!
A few weeks ago, the coach emailed about practice and said the team would meet on Wednesdays at 5:30. I replied immediately, and very kindly and patiently asked if we could consider another night, or maybe even move the time up a bit. We need to be at church by 6:00 for our mid-week education program, FUEL. To make it on time, we would need to leave practice by 5:45 and it is just not worth it to be at practice for only 15 minutes.
My husband learned that it would not be possible for the coach to change, and no one else on the team seems to mind. So, 5:30 on Wednesdays it will be – and my son will miss the team practices.
I knew that this was going to happen. As a family, we would need make the choice between sports (or dance or music lessons or whatever) and church. I just did not expect it to happen so soon!! Whatever happened to Wednesdays being sacred? I think I, unfortunately, am a bit out of touch with the way of the world now.
When my husband came home that night and told me that practice would stay at 5:30, I was furious. I fumed and whined and lashed out at my imaginary enemy. My husband reminded me that I can’t be mad at the coach – this is just what the world does now.
(My husband and I have this amazing connection where one of us can usually remain calm when something frustrating occurs – which is useful to talk the other off of “the cliff.”)
I calmed myself down and started to act like “mom” again. Through the whole thing, my son quietly sat at the table and ate his supper, observing my tantrum. I asked my son how he felt about missing soccer so we could be at FUEL. Without hesitation he calmly replied that he knew we need to be at church. It was important for us to learn about God.
Leave it to my 6-year-old to provide some perspective. He understands what is important and had no problem ignoring what the “world” wanted him to do so that he could make the right choice.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
So, we skipped soccer practice this week and we went to church. We enjoyed fellowship with our faith community, we had time for education – for the “renewing of our minds” – and we took time to worship. (Well – partly worship, partly wrestle a 2-year-old.) Not once did we talk about soccer. We may have been against the “pattern of this world” but our little family was exactly where we needed to be.