We home school our children, so I'd secretly delighted that my husband's dream of having high school football players wasn't going to happen. While I enjoy watching the occasional college football game, I never delighted in the idea of my boys being on the field, with all those other boys trying to hurt my precious children.
I remember sitting in a little waiting room while my youngest two boys were in their weekly speech therapy session at our local elementary school. On the wall was one of those motivational posters that list positive character traits. I only remember one of the traits, because I thought, there is no way that a school can instill that trait. It was perseverance. I always remember how to spell perseverance, well persevere, because it contains the word severe. And that's how you gain perseverance, you have to go through something severe to get there. And I laughed at that little sign in a public elementary school, thinking there is no way our society will intentionally allow children to go through severe circumstances in order to instill a quality character trait.
My favorite scripture regarding this is found in Romans 5:
3Not only so, but wec
also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4perseverance, character; and character, hope.
hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out
into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
I love it, and I don't. Because I personally kind of avoid hard things, although I've done them, and generally I find that in the end, it didn't seem that hard, because God was right there carrying me through it.
The reason I'm talking about this, is because I'm watching my son right now, learn this lesson. And I could not be more proud of him. And I told him, regardless of how this ends, I will forever be proud of him, because he is overcoming obstacles others have never dealt with. Around the age of 9 we noticed that he was gaining weight pretty rapidly, it took a bit before we finally learned that his thyroid was out of wack. And while we got his numbers under control, and he grew to an amazing 6'2" and still going. His weight never quite stabilized like we hoped. Kids teased him and he was definitely aware of his size as being the biggest in the room. When we moved here to Korea he decided to make some changes. He gave up soda, and started hitting the gym 3 days a week with his dad, and then revealed he planned to join the Football team.
He hasn't played football since he was 8 and won the regular season flag football championship. Yesterday was the very first practice. He lasted 15 minutes before becoming overcome with heat and puked in a trash can. He tried to go back out, but seeing spots sent him back to the sidelines.
Lesser men, would have quit, and decided football wasn't for him. On the way home he said, "Do you think S would want to play with me?" Not only was he going back, he wanted his brother on the team with him. He realized he hadn't drank enough water, and determined that he would drink water for the rest of the day and make sure to drink enough before practice today.
At 3:30 he and his brother headed out the door for today's practice. My husband and I arrived to watch the last 30 minutes of practice and they were both going strong. The last 20 minutes were for running. I watched as he went across the field in 10 yard increments, having to drop and do push ups for false starts, without quitting. His teammates encouraging him as the recognized how hard it was getting. Then as they reached the other side, he realized his body was done. So not only did he push himself farther than he thought he could go, he had the maturity to know the signs of when he needed to stop. He only missed the last sprint of practice.
As a parent, I wanted to see the road easy before my children, that life would always treat them kindly. But, that isn't the way it works. But more importantly, I want them to be people of Godly character. And if this is how God is going turn my son into a Man of Character, then give me the Green and White pompoms and "Go Warriors!!"