This humbles me to say out loud, but yes, I want my children to be the stars of their athletic teams. I'm all about team play and working together! I just am a bit bias when it comes to my sweet children. Laying it all out there...I want them to be the best...the star...the MVP....the noticed one. Coming from a parent perspective, I've got to wonder if every parent hopes secretly (or openly) that their child might be the best at whatever they might be doing. I sit back at times thinking, "what am I teaching my children with displaying this attitude?" Now, I never communicate these feelings with my children yet I do tell them that in my book they are "my stars" and I"m very proud of them.
I was greatly humbled coming home recently from one of my 11 year old son's basketball games. We were encouraging him, and talking through the game as we always do. We realized in this game that he scored only 1 point (which is unlike his game play) and yet talk about the amazing passes, ball handling, and point guard that he is. And then just like that he tells me that his purpose in playing isn't about him but making the team look better. He wants to work hard and do his best, yet in that he doesn't want all the glory to himself but just wants all he does to benefit his team looking great and working well together. For "isn't that what good sportsmanship is mom?" (a bit of my own paraphrase.) And it's true. As a former athlete myself I would be remiss if I didn't honestly express that I liked scoring! So as I listen to my 11 year old not mention one thing about his 1 point I realized I was watching this come to life in the game. He wasn't down or discouraged but excited and cheering on his team during the actual play. It was true....it was about his team - not him.
As I've thought about this conversation I realize that my little man has taught me much. And my thoughts lean towards the fact that this is how Jesus would want us to live our lives. HE didn't come to be served but to serve. Jesus gave His life for the team...for me. So my son lays aside any glory for himself to serve a greater purpose and glory. For what he's learning now has far more eternal value than my thoughts of wanting him to be the star of the team...and therein I'm humbled.
So each game I'll keep this conversation in my head as I watch him play his sport. For what I'll remember is that he's not playing for his own gain but for the dying of his own gain so that others might be lifted up. Isn't this what we all should be doing?
His team went on to win that game in overtime. This was an undefeated team they played and our boys pulled out a victory. Yet what I'll remember about this game is not the win but the lesson my son taught me as all he desired was to serve.