Saturday morning we headed out bright and early for the first soccer game of the season. The grass was still wet when we arrived and the sun was still trying to find its place. It was mighty early but we didn’t care because we love soccer. We love the challenge. We love the intensity. We love the competition. Watching those girls dig deep and work hard and cheer each other on is inspiring.
I have noticed something different about my daughter this year. She seems to have a confidence she lacked last year. I don’t know if it’s because she played on this team last year and is one of the veterans. I’m not sure what it is but she has really become a cheerleader for her teammates. When someone scores, she’s right there to congratulate them. And when they are practicing she’s behind them encouraging them reminding them they can do it. It’s been fun to watch because I’ve not seen this side of her before. She’s generally pretty quiet on the field but not anymore. She’s directing her teammates and helping them as much as she can. My little girl seems to have grown up a bit.
My daughter played goalie this weekend. She’s fairly new at this. She played some last season but was not nearly as good as the girls who had trained all year. But she wanted to do it last year and again this year. As we finished the first half, she had only allowed one goal to be scored. The defense worked hard and they held them to only one goal. After the first half, one of the moms told me she always counts the number of saves her son (a goalie for his team) has so she can encourage him. Because the goalie can feel responsible for all of the goals, she thought it would be great to tell her son how many goals he prevented from happening. Then she proceeded to say, “Karoline has had 7 saves so far”. I thought this was a great idea! This would be so encouraging to Karoline to compare saves against actual goals. When I revealed the stats to Karoline, she was releaved.
Being who I am, I thought about the spiritual implication of this whole situation. In life, we screw up a lot. As a Mom, I am constantly reprimanding my kids when they do something wrong. It’s a much rarer occurrence that I point out every time they do something right. Oh sure, when they do something big and out of the ordinary, I compliment them. But day to day, I forget that for most of the day they did it right. Instead I hone in on the one thing they do wrong. I wonder how different their attitudes would be if I took even one day out of a normal week and only spoke of the things they did right. I wonder if they would be more encouraged to do right. I wonder if they would be inspired and unafraid to fail.
I guess this principle could be applied to me too. I wonder if I spent more time looking at the positive rather than the negative if I would be more inspired. I wonder if I didn’t worry so much about failing, if God could use me more. And I wonder if obsessing about my weaknesses and past mistakes is pride. After all, if I have confessed my sin and God has forgiven, what more is there to dwell on? Doesn’t repentance come before forgiveness? Hmmm. I’d say I’m going to ponder this more today, but there is much to do and I need to look onward and upward.
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:13 NIV)