Christopher is in his second year of soccer. Not a practice or a game goes by that he doesn't announce, "I'm SO happy that I'm in soccer!" He loves the game, the running, the competition, the rules, the coaches, and his team players. He rejoices when he sees someone do a good job, and takes defeats without a ruffle in his feathers. He's in it for the fun of it, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't care about winning.
Tonight they won, 16 - 0. One of the moms on the other team told me they were calling our kids the "Steroid Kids". Bah, humbug. They just did well.
Steve, my son-in-law, is in his umpteenth year of soccer. It doesn't matter that he's about 10 years older than the rest of the guys on his team. He plays, rain or shine, year round (indoor soccer in the winter). When he was planning his wedding to my daughter, he had to check the soccer schedule to fit in the wedding and the honeymoon. After all, he couldn't miss a game!
Steve plays hard. He plays to win. He sacrifices his own glory for the good of the team. I watched him tonight, and could tell that he knew where every man was, and he anticipated what they were about to do. He "headed" the ball at least 7 times - hard enough that I teased him about being able to do his paperwork and studying tomorrow.
At one point he was all the way down the field, open to get a goal if someone just passed him the ball. Then the play went the other way, and he high-tailed it all the way back, arriving in time to make an amazing move to stop a man from scoring against his team. We cheered! It was terrific!
I can learn something from both Christopher and Steve. Critter teaches me to relax, to have fun, to try my best, but not to take everything too seriously. He is the epitome of enthusiasm.
Steve, on the other hand, teaches me to ignore the pain, to press on, to work together with others on my team, to sacrifice, and to always, always do my best.
Hebrews 12:1 ¶ Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.