As a parent sitting on the sidelines watching my kids participate in sports this past year, the temptation to blame the umpires or refs for every bad-in-my-eyes call or to complain about overly aggressive play by the opposing team was a strong one, and I must admit those thoughts did often surface. We say we one of the key reasons for participation in competitive sports is character development. I kind of think that God chuckles and lets us think that, but really, He knows that the key reason our children are participating is for the character development of their parents. Could it be that when I learn to model a godly response to the perceived trampling of my child's rights, s/he will learn genuine good sportsmanship that goes far beyond the mere shaking of hands and "Good game!" comments traditionally exchanged after the last buzzer? Perhaps that genuine sportsmanship will then transfer into other areas of his/her life, so that both disappointment and achievement are equally accepted and embraced as evidences of God's sovereignty and grace?
08 June 2010
Standing in line in a convenience store somewhere in Virginia the other day...
...this sports page headline caught my eye.
"In an age when so many professional athletes act like spoiled brats and the officials act like titled nobility, surely a major confrontation was moments away. But, no. Galarraga smiled at his bad luck. After the game, Joyce reviewed the tape. Realizing he'd missed the call, he sought out Galarraga and apologized. 'I just cost that kid a perfect game,' he said later.
Galarraga accepted the apology and said afterward, 'He probably feels more bad than me. Nobody's perfect, everybody's human. I understand.'
It was an awful, dreadful call. But rather than act like babies, Joyce and Galarraga dealt with it like men, and good men, at that. Baseball is supposed to teach good sportsmanship. That night, it did."
I'm sure there are probably parts to this story that I'm missing... it really seems too good to be true... but I wish my kids had seen it. In a world that is obsessed with defending rights, most would say that ball player had a "right" to his perfect game and his name in the record book. But biblically, there are things more important than fighting for and demanding our rights, aren't there? And practically, how do we disciple our children to lay aside their rights? (i.e. follow Christ's example as written in Phil. 2)
What do you think?