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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I learned from my Kid: No Excuses

Last night, after a grueling, hot, painful three-hour football practice, my 14 year old son came in drenched, grimacing, almost in tears. Told us a little about practice and went to take a bath. I could see his discouragement. Not being the best. Not getting praise for his hard work. Missing out on three hours of video games. (smile). I prayed. I know he doesn’t like the hard things any more than I do. But I’d never force him to play a sport if he wants to stop. As a matter of fact I tried to talk him out of football in 7th grade because quite frankly, I saw my next six years of sitting on butt-killing bleachers, trying to drum up some go-team enthusiasm for a sport I think never should have been invented in the first place. In my opinion, kids should read and play the piano, but I know I’m in the American minority. For sure I’m in the Lebanon Family Church minority.

So, my fourteen year old came out of his bath, still drenched, this time from the bath—because fourteen year old boys don’t have time or inclination for towels—and he said, “So, I was trying to think of any excuse to quit football”

And my stomach dropped. Because, football is his dream. He’s not great (don’t tell him I said so, not that I’m the best judge of football greatness) YET. He’s not in the best shape. YET. He is way too smart to get his brains knocked around in a violent sport, but it’s his dream. And dreams are a big deal with me. Any kid who will sit and watch the text of a football game as it comes in because we don’t have DISH anymore, is committed.

I’ve been telling him for years, “God drops a dream into our heart and then waits to see what we’ll do with it. What are you going to do about your dream?” God definitely partners with us. He is the only one who can make the impossible, possible. But He wants to see that we will believe that the bigger the dream, the bigger the goal, the bigger the opportunity for God to flex his God-muscles and show us how awesome and powerful He truly is.

So my stomach dropped when my son said he was trying to think of any excuse to quit football, and I said, “Really?” GULP

“Yeah,” he said. “But then I picked up the shirt I was going to wear.”

I was wondering if he got it from the clean clothes or just grabbed a dirty shirt, which isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.

“And on the back it said this…”

And my wonderful, funny, too-smart-to-get-his-brains-knocked-around-in-a-violent-sport kid, showed me the words NO EXCUSES.

He grinned. “God told me not to quit.”

And I believe him. I believe with all my heart that God said, “Will, I gave you this dream. What will you do with it? It’s you and Me, Will Bateman. Will you believe me for the impossible?”

It’s not about being the best, finishing the strongest, or being hoisted onto shoulders with fans screaming your name. It’s about being faithful to the dream. Getting your brains beat out and coming back for more. Flexing thigh and calf muscles against impossible hills, and getting to the top, knowing you’re one hill stronger than you were before.

No excuses, no quitting, climbing to reach the goal against impossible odds.

For better or worse, that’s faith.


Phyllis said...

Beautiful. Thankful that you have a teen-aged son that listens to God.

P.J.R said...

We always told our boys you finish what you start.If you want to play a sport be sure that you want to play and if I buy the shoes or uniform you are committed to play for that season.Younger boy tried basketball and decided that someone yelling at you for 2 hours was not his thing.The next year he joined the dinner dance group and choir.He loved it and found out that God had given him a beautiful voice.So my fears of a sport damaged brain/back/leg soon to be adult was now in the past.He chose his own path and still does today.I think that is part of the letting the nest thing.Loved your post made me remember my kids high school years--was a good time in life..oh and I was a lot skinnier then LOL

Kristi Butler said...

Stopped by at Tracy Ruckman's recommendation. Loved it! Thanks for sharing so beautifully!

Tracey Bateman said...

thanks for commenting, guys! and thanks to Tracy R for the shoutout :)

J M Gallagher said...

Needed this today. God has given me a dream--I'm not even sure how "big" it is. I wanted to quit, I got encouragement. I wanted perfection, I'm running scales in the middle of my concerto. And His message to me is the story of Nehemiah. Finish the work--one hand laying bricks and the other holding a spear. Because there are a lot of spiritual attacks when we strive to fulfill His plan for us.
And now I can add "No Excuses" to my messages to keep going. =)

Tracey Bateman said...

awesome, JM!

Unknown said...

This is such a good reminder not to give up our dreams or goals if we know God has given it to us. Blessings my friend!

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