Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Favorite Season

Ah, it's here again. Labor Day is past and football season is back. High school games began a couple of weeks ago; college pre-conference season games are underway, and the NFL kicks off with a big game as the Seahawks and Packers meet Thursday night.

I always wanted to play football when I was a kid. I dreamed of being the star running back on the team, my name echoing out over the loud speakers as I ran for touchdown after touchdown. But there was one problem: I was too thin and scrawny. I ended up on the sidelines, playing tuba in the marching band. Only later did I learn that for every glorious minute on the field the football team spent grueling hours practicing and working out.

The guys on the football team and those of us in the marching band took our separate paths. Each day we practiced, and so did they. But every Friday night we came together, each ready to take the field in our own time, and bring glory to our school. Even now, on Friday nights when I drive by a high school and see the stadium lights and hear the drums pounding, it takes me back.

Life seems cyclical, isn't it? These days I find myself in a similar situation with my son. He's started his senior year at high school, eager to graduate and head off to college next year. I'd love to be out there with him, enjoying all his experiences -- the struggles as well as the triumphs. But both of us have a different path to take: I'm off to work each day, while he's at school preparing to succeed at college and forge ahead with his career.

Like the marching band and the football team, we'll end up doing our stuff apart. But I can encourage him from the sidelines with my thoughts and prayers. I'll look forward to those "game times" when I can take my place on the sidelines, and cheer him on.
The other day the thought finally sank in that odds are I won't be there to watch his whole game. After all, my dad died the day before my game began -- the day I was ordained into the ministry.

Thinking of my son, it's likely I'll miss many, if not most, of the greatest accomplishments in his life. But if I can be around for the first quarter or even the first half, I'll be a very grateful man.

How do you feel as you watch your children "spring up" before your very eyes? Do you have any special or innovative ways of staying a part of their lives, especially as they move beyond your household?

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