I am young in years, and you are old;... I thought, 'Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.' But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty that gives him understanding. It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right. Job 32:6-9
They weren't expected to win many games this season. Last year, the Knights didn't win a single game. Our ten year old son, Mason begged us to play this year. Of course, he has begged us to play every year. This wouldn't be a church league anymore, where coaches and kids know to watch their language. Why would we let him play on a team with a losing history, subject him to practice for two hours a night four days a week, risk the inappropriate language only to be beaten and slaughtered once or twice a week at games? No parent in their right mind would, right?
Despite our reservations about letting our son play football, we agreed to pray about it with him. In the past, our family has been over-committed by saying 'yes' too often, when we should have sought the Lord's guidance and possibly said 'no.'
I am not exactly sure how the answer came to us, but after much prayer, we agreed to let him play. The girls agreed to forgo sports for the season to minimize our commitments. We discussed the pitfalls with Mason, and he told us not to worry. He didn't care about the odds, he was just thrilled to be playing football on a real team! In God's goodness, everything fell into place.
After practice one day, Mason asked the coach if he could pray. Unaware that he was going to do this, I asked him what he had prayed. He said, "I thanked God for the blessing of playing football with this team, and I prayed everyone would do their best."
"The blessing of playing football with a loosing team," I thought. Sometimes I think Mason is in his own little world. Often I see that Mason is held by God in his own little world and that God uses him mightily.
Coach Baker lets him pray after every practice. Coach lets him pray at the games. Some of the other boys have asked if they could pray.
A champion named Goliath...came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand sheckels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. 1 Samuel 17:4-7
During the second game of the season, The Knights played the Sabers. Mason played nose guard against a boy or Goliath, as I referred to him. At about eighty-five pounds Mason is quick, but not very big. I looked at this fifth-grade boy who stood taller and bigger than all the other boys and thought about how he was going to slaughter my son. I looked at his gear and was reminded of what Goliath wore; the helmet, the scale armor. I pondered the meaning and irony of the team's name, the 'Sabers,' a heavy cavalry sword with a curved blade. Goliath carried a saber.
God's word is alive, and I am watching the story from the book of Samuel play out before my eyes; however, my faith is weak. I am more like David's brothers and Saul who said, "You are not able to go out against this 'giant' and fight him; you are only a boy." (1 Samuel 17:35)
On the sidelines, I watched Mason during a break bow his head in prayer and then look up. This is not a battle with the Philistines and he is not David; but he is my son, and I am afraid he is about to be killed. I watched him and realized that he has more faith than I.
The Knights have played four games. Yesterday, they played the Demons, an undefeated team. Our boys were told they would be destroyed. The Demons have some big kids on their team, as well. Again, I thought about the irony of their name, the 'Demons.' Anxiety welled up in me, and then I saw our boys take a knee to pray.
With only a few minutes left in the game, the Demons were winning 6-0. We scored and tied with them. The game went into overtime. We scored again, but the Demons still had a chance to score...
Last year, the Knights didn't win a game.
This season, they haven't lost one. The Knights are undefeated.
God's word is alive in our daily lives. To teach my children, I can usually relate certain events or hardships we are experiencing to stories in the bible. This story unfolded unexpectantly, but was a great experience to teach the story of David and Goliath and the faith of a shepherd boy. My son's faith is strong. God is mighty big in Mason's little world. I am grateful he is on a team with coaches and players who pray. I am grateful they are not praying to 'win,' but to do their best. Sometimes I try so hard to shield my children from the 'world,' when God wants them to "shine as lights in the world." (Philippians 2:15-16) The glory is not for Mason, the Knights or for winning football games. The glory is for the Lord. Praise God he can use Mason and the Knights team to be witnesses for Christ.
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