My nine year old daughter is playing recreational league soccer for the Blue Bandits this Spring.
It brings Jonathan great joy to antagonize our children. A recent family conversation in the car went as follows.
Jon: I am going to yell, “Go Band-aids!” No one will know because they will think I am saying Bandits.
Go Band-aids! (Yelling… yes, yelling it in the car.)
Annalyn: I will tell my coach, and he takes soccer VERY seriously.
He is always giving us a chance to try stuff, and he stops us every time one of us messes up. Then he talks for five minutes to say, “Never stop practicing. Practice, practice, practice.”
…And I’m like, but we are stopped RIGHT NOW.
The rest of the family: (LAUGHING)
Jon: Sometimes I think Annalyn is a lot like me.
I loved her observation. I found humor in it because I have already thought that perhaps there are some connected to her team that are going to take this season way too seriously.
Next level, scholarship, and professional soccer are all terms that were used in regards to our recreational soccer team during the first team meeting (…Not to mention we had a meeting. This is our third season, and this was our first meeting).
I was tickled by the wit and the delivery of Annalyn’s statement. I could hear the smile in her voice as she said it.
Mostly, I found myself enjoying the absurdity she had noted.
In fairness, I am sure way less practice time is dedicated to this communication than Annalyn made it sound, but it still caught my attention because we all find ourselves in the coach’s shoes occasionally.
The same way he is so concerned about the girls practicing that he takes away from their practice time, we can get so serious about the details of life that we don’t take time to enjoy living.
Everyone keeps telling Jon and I to sabbath. Trust me, we want to do it. We have tried to do it recently, and we find ourselves slightly more stressed afterwards because we are farther behind on the tasks that need to be done.
Just last night, we were sharing this with a leader who was encouraging us to sabbath. He looked at us and asked, “What happens if those tasks don’t get done?”
I wanted to punch him in the face. Okay, not really, but kind of. (I do see how that is a bit of a drastic response.)
Why did I want to punch him?…. Because he was right.
My counselor asked me a similar question years ago about my mild struggle with OCD when it came to keeping our house in order. He had said, “What happens if the dishes sit in the sink overnight?” At the time I could hardly comprehend the question. The answer was obvious. The dishes would be in the sink, and that was NOT okay with me.
I have since learned to allow my house to be a mess and be okay with it….mostly. I am still way more sane when the house is spotless, which means I am half crazy all the time now.
Anyway, the truth both men were driving at is that it is okay to leave some things undone. We don’t have to take every detail so seriously. We can miss the big picture and the joy if we get hung up on doing it all and doing it all really well.
I am in the process of learning this lesson. I am encouraged to build margin in my life and to let more dishes sit in the sink.
Thank God for grace.