This year our boys' baseball season was overall great, and kept us busy. And just when we thought it was finishing up, Bryce (who just turned 10) was asked to be part of the traveling tournament team. Of course, we were very proud of him, but debated about whether to say yes or not. It was a pretty big time commitment (something we were just looking forward to finishing with after having 2 boys playing in 2 different divisions for the past 2 1/2 months), but we also knew it would be a good learning opportunity for Bryce to work on both his skills and his sportsmanship, as well as learning more discipline, because the coach he would be under was tougher than any had before.
He himself was over-the-top excited to be asked to be part of the team, and wholeheartedly wanted to play. So we decided to go ahead with it. Being only two weeks into it, we are seriously questioning if it was wise to do so. To say that this coach is intense would be an understatement. I can barely contain myself sitting in the stands watching him berate the kids, and threaten to make them run laps for mistakes. He hinted last night that he might be adding to the already demanding schedule...something we were not aware would happen when we agreed. So...we are praying about what we do from here. Our initial response is "this isn't what we signed up for, so, we're outta here!". However, upon further consideration, I'm thinking that God may want us to use these few weeks as an opportunity to force ourselves to be more disciplined with our time, prioritize things that have to take precedence and things that must wait, and live out and teach some lessons about how to deal with VERY difficult people. Just off the top of my head, I can see having to walk out some very real challenges in the areas of humility, submission, praying for my enemies, and at the same time, boldness in standing up for what is right as well as drawing clear boundaries for our family. It's a very tricky game. However, it's always easy to talk about these things, but never to actually do them, right? So, whether our initial decision was right or not, I feel like we are at another cross road, praying for wisdom. My desire is to make the right choices for the right reasons, not just the easy choices.
And all this over a silly game? Well, there's lots of lessons to be learned in life. I'd rather learn (and teach!) them in a setting where the consequences are low and learn them well, so that when the 'games' are more serious, and the stakes are high, we - myself and my family - will already have practices in doing the right thing.