Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I really blew it this time...

     Suddenly I found myself with a child who doubts the existence of God, because as he put it, "God really doesn't care about us." "If this is His plan, it sucks, and I don't want any part of it."  

     My son, Alex, was having a hard time. He's a senior in high school. He's ready to be done with it. I was doing my best to motivate him when I suggested he find one thing he feels good about and looks forward to each day. He chose football. I said, "Great! Put your hope in football. Know that you have to go to school and get decent grades in order to play football."

     Child motivated... I thought that would be enough for a while. The very next day... in a simple weightlifting class... hamstring torn. Physical therapy started right away, but he's out for minimum three weeks. Senior year, that's a pretty big deal.

     All by myself, I had a few choice words for God.  The hamstring has been an issue since it was first torn 5 years ago. For a natural born athlete that's a real bummer. We've done our part. What could God possibly be thinking taking away the one thing that brings my son joy right now?

    In a flash I realized I had done my son a terrible disservice. God hears us. He just doesn't want us putting our hope in football... or anything other than Him.
     Sometimes when we are hurting... or tired of waiting... it's hard to keep our faith. I thought my faith was stronger than this. The lesson for me is in the advice I give. The lesson for my son is much harder.

     I'm sorry, Alex.
     I'm sorry, God.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Reality Strikes

     We went to our first high school football game of the season last night. Our son plays for Banchet Catholic. He is a senior this year.

     Reality struck me last Wednesday afternoon, when I stopped by the practice field at the school. One panoramic view of the property was a sudden snapshot of our life in football over the last 5 years. In one field were the mid-high boys practicing in full pads. They were dressed in white, looking rather innocent for football players, I thought. In the other field, were the high school boys. They wear black. I remembered when my son was little and the big boys looked so big, now he is one of them.

     I remember when the older boys, especially the seniors, seemed so grown-up... like men.

     I knew we'd get here someday. I just didn't think it would happen so fast. What seemed like it would take forever is upon us. We've had our last, first game, of high school football. My son played great. He carried the ball a few times for a total of 59 yards, and made too many great tackles to count. I didn't cry once. I just had a hard time cheering because of the great big lump in my throat.