Thursday, January 29

Finding joy

This season my son, Ryan, has been learning the game of basketball...much to the joy of both his parents. While I dislike watching basketball on t.v. I do enjoy the game in person. My husband and I both played the game in school, although he's the only one who played in high school. At first Ryan didn't really care one way or the other, but thought "sure, why not try it" when I asked if he was interested. As he began to learn and find out the nuances of the game he began to like it. When we went to a college game to watch it, he fell in love. Once he played his first game, he found joy! He truly enjoys playing and watching basketball. But there's more to his ball handling techniques and game rules on which he has been focusing.
The league on which he plays, Upward, has a few unique standards to teach and encourage. During each practice the coaches take a 15-20 minute break to present a Bible study for the team. I love that the person who each team member looks up to is the one speaking to them about God and concepts that tie into life and not just sports...scripted or not, it's a blessing. After each game the teams meet up and receive stars of recognition for their efforts in the game. The first week Ryan received a star for sportsmanship. The second week he received one for best effort. The third week he received the star that he had started praying to receive....Most Christlike. When his name was called for this one, his eyes lit from within...JOY! The rest of the day was interspersed with sentences of "I knew that God would want me to clap for both teams, because we were all working hard" and "I just wanted to make sure that Brandon knew that I thought it was a great shot" and "this is the best star anyone can get because it means that people can see Christ in someone". And in those moments I not only observed his joy, I was a part of it!
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