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Football, Faith, and Failure

It's bye week for all our boys and our Buckeyes too so I have a minute to reflect on the lessons of faith and failure that football is teaching them. I have to admit it's a little bit of a sweet relief: with three boys in football and 4 college/NFL teams they follow, there's rarely a break from the pigskin around here in the Fall.

My oldest son's team is 6-0. These boys have been together for three years and they've lost one game, early on. It's an incredibly talented bunch of athletes and it's been an awesome ride thus far. He's learning to win with humility and enjoy success.

He's also learning to play through pain and disappointment. He broke his wrist five weeks ago making a tackle. The doctor allowed him to play casted and to continue lifting as well. When the blessed day came to get the cast removed, the X Ray showed the break was actually worse. So he's back in a cast for another four weeks. It wasn't the result he was hoping for, but he's handling it with determination and grit.

My ten year old's season is a mixed bag. They've won a few, they've lost more. But because it's a major improvement from last year (they lost every game big time), he's happy as can be. He's learning to play for the love of the game and stay competitive when things aren't going his way.

My youngest, all of seven, is having a rough ride. He's the only one on his team with any clue about the game. (Having big brothers helps; most of these kids are still learning the basic rules let alone possess the skill needed to play well). My little man hustles and grinds and he gets off the field with the battle scars to prove it. His team took such a bad beating last weekend that the club rep came over and handed them all sportsmanship awards. Ouch.

But he's learning to give it his all no matter what the outcome. Even when it seems no one on his team cares at all, he puts his head down and goes for it anyway.

"The world is not changed by people who sort of care. The world is changed by people who passionately, irrationally, audaciously care." Sally Hogshead

That's what faith is: to keep on, keeping on in frustration or failure... with passion and audacity, even if it's irrational to do so.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Hebrews 11:1

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