This last Saturday, my two boys woke up so excited and ready to dominate in the dodgeball tournament I had signed us up for just a few weeks before. They had so many different ideas of how fast they would throw the ball and how they were going to jump quickly out of the way so that they wouldn’t be pegged. They were going into this with no other option but success.
When we arrived at the event, as it was becoming more real to them, they suddenly became nervous and were changing their plan for success that they were so sure of just a few hours before. When more people began arriving, they realized that there were many kids much older and stronger, they went into total fear mode. The first game came and went then it was our turn to step onto the court. We got on the court and I was encouraging them to run and get the balls but instead they sat towards the back and waited for the balls to come to them.
The first game we won, and you could see the excitement on both of their faces. (I assure you not one of us three had anything to do with the win that had just taken place. HAHA) Yall these balls were flying. There were some kids who thought they were trying out for major league baseball in this room. I am not joking. The second game we lost, and Witten turned around and said, “mom we lost, and I feel shame!”
As I sat and watched the other games unfold, I saw so many different emotions. When people got pegged and had to step out, you could tell many were angry. Some slamming balls down on the ground, some in tears and even some trash talk off to the side. From other teams, I watched an entire family cheat to win. They would get pegged and continue playing and shortly after one would get out, they would sneak back onto the court. It was shocking as we watched this mom coach her kids to play dirty for the sake of winning. All the boys, it didn’t matter their age, looked to the sidelines for reassurance. I watched pure excitement and joy from little dudes and the exact pure excitement from the mommas when their boys ran off the court. More than anything, All the boys, it didn’t matter their age, looked to the sidelines for reassurance.
We were driving home, and I was thinking and replaying the afternoon over in my head excited about the memories we made. The more I replayed, the more I thought of the amazing depiction of life that was wrapped into this intense afternoon of dodgeball.
We all have these goals and Ideas of how our plans are going to unfold. We are excited, and in that moment, we can’t see anything but success. As soon as we step into the reality of our dream, we feel intimidated and begin doubting whether we are equipped for the job. There are others around us who are bigger and better at what we want to do. Then our dreams become a reality and opposition begins flying at us faster than we anticipated. Often, we are tempted to cheat, lie or cut corners to get further ahead in the game. When opposition hits us and knocks the air out of us, forcing us to step back or off to the side, we are discouraged and angry. Failure to win brings an overwhelming sense of shame.
I am not willing to sit on the side lines and let life happen to me. I want to be in the game. I want to be a DOER and not just a dreamer! I am sick of feeling fear of failure or stress because my plans have seen more opposition than I was expecting. More importantly, I want my integrity and moral standards intact no matter what season I am in. We spend so much time looking left and looking right for the approval of everyone who is watching when, we need to be looking up for the only approval that matters.
So, the next time you are stuck in the dodgeball of life, and the opposition begins flying, don’t get discouraged and overwhelmed by shame. Get off the sidelines and get back in the game!!
Back In the Game,