Monday, October 11, 2010

Momsense Monday: On Knowing His Voice: Learning from Sheep and Soccer

Lessons I Learned from My Kids (When I Was Supposed to Be Teaching Them)

On Knowing His Voice

I am the Good Shepherd.  I know my sheep and my sheep know me. . . my sheep listen to my voice;  I know them and they follow me.   John 10:14, 27

            Right before a soccer game one Saturday morning, Jacky anxiously came up to me with a look of panic in her face.  She had known that her coach would be out of town that day, but somehow she had hoped he would be there anyway. 
            "Mom!" she wailed, "Coach Dan isn't going to be here today!  Coach Bob is taking his place!"
            "So what's the problem!" I asked.
            "I won't know what to do.  I'm used to looking for him in the sidelines and hearing his voice to tell me what to do.  Now I'm afraid.  Pray with me, Mom, please?"
            So the two of us walked off, and prayed that God would keep Coach Dan safe, that Coach Bob would be able to coach the team wisely, that Jacky would remember all that Coach Dan had taught her, and that there would be no injuries.  We also asked for victory, but Jacky added that if the other team needed the victory more, that would be OK, too.
            The first half of the game was exciting, but our team was behind by two goals.  The girls seemed tired and discouraged, and seemed to have given up.  At half-time, Jacky came over to me very frustrated. 
            "They're giving up, Mom.  Some of them aren't even listening to Coach Bob, they're just giving up." She looked up at me with fierce determination in her face.  "Well I’m not giving up.  I want Coach Dan to be proud of me, and I'm gonna play like he's here!" 
            And so with that resolve, she rejoined her team.
            In the second half, true to her word, Jacky played her heart out,  and Jacky scored two goals to tie the game.  Her spirit of determination caught on, and the team scored another goal to win the game.
            Afterwards  I asked Jacky what made the difference in the second half,  since Coach Dan still wasn't present.  "Easy," she replied, "I tried to remember everything Coach taught me, and even though it was Coach Bob saying it, it was Coach Dan's voice I heard in my head.  I could hear him say, "Go wide, Jacky, go wide!" or "Not down the middle, Babe!" and "SHOT, JACKY, SHOT!"  I didn't listen to all the yelling from the side, I just concentrated on hearing Coach Dan."  Then happily she skipped off to join her teammates.
            "My sheep hear my voice," said the Good Shepherd, "and they follow me."   Jesus isn't with us in body right now, but we know He'll be back, we just don't know when.  Until then, though, we all have decisions we have to make, paths we have to follow, and risks we have to take.  The Good Shepherd may not be physically in sight for us to obey, but we can listen for and hear His voice and follow it.  We know what He expects from us, and so we do it.
"SHOT, JACKY, SHOT!"  Take a risk, my child, take the shot.  Remember everything I've taught you, and then do it!
~ o ~
            Coach Dan and his team took the League Division championship, and  went on to take his team to the Commissioner's Cup finals, with a season record of 12-1-1.  His All-Star team went undefeated to first place, but that is another lesson on another day.

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