First, thank you for the wonderful feedback on yesterday's post about small town directions. Your comments were OUTSTANDING! I'm definitely going to seek God's direction before completing the devotion. I think I actually have the start on a few others.
We've been pretty enmeshed in wrestling as the season ends. During the course of the season, I've realized that most moms I've know enjoy watching their kids play sports ... except in wrestling. It's a pretty physical sport. I guess it doesn't bother me as much because as the mother of three boys, I'm used to wrestling. I'm just so happy not to be the referree anymore!
About two weeks ago, our wrestling son Dylan (who is a freshman and whom I wrote about yesterday) actually got to wrestle at the varsity level. He had earned the second spot on varsity in his weight class.
I showed up at the gym and tried to locate my boy. But I didn't see him warming up on the mats. For a minute I thought maybe something had changed, and they didn't need him to wrestle. But I sat, waited and watched. Finally some kids came through a back door, one with shorts like my son but with his sweatshirt hood over his head. Watching him walk I could tell it was Dylan but I didn't know why his head was covered.
Then he shoved the hood back and I realized what had happened. He had a mohawk! Complete with shaved sides and wavy brown hair in a clean strip on the top. My mouth dropped open in shock as I stared from across the gym.
He must have felt my laser vision boring into the back of his head - or what my kids have affectionately labeled "The Look" - because he turned, caught my eyes and grinned. I shrugged my shoulders in a silent question, and he shrugged back. I guess my 14-year-old believed that vague-pass-the-buck gesture would satisfy my curiosity. He was wrong.
That same child should have been thanking God at that very moment that his mother didn't fly across the mats and show him some of her own wrestling moves! But being the mature woman that I am (insert tongue in cheek) I stayed put.
Instead of my son running over and giving me an explanation for the high-style look, the coach walked over while my son got manly slaps on the back and high-fives by his older teammates. It seems the referree told Dylan his hair was too long and someone volunteered to help by shaving most of his head!
I'm thankful God provided a delay, because by the time my little boy/man made his way to my seat, I just grinned and ran my hand across his nubby head.
Back among his teammates he texted me: "Are you mad?"
In reality, I wasn't. I've been a mom long enough to know when to let things go. After losing a niece in a drunk-driving accident, I move fast from shock to keeping things in perspective. Hair will grow back. My son's willingness to "take one for the team" was impressive. Plus, he looked pretty cute.
"No. You needed a hair cut anyway" (insert smily face icon) I texted back.
"Thanks Mom. I love you."
Ahhh ... that was worth my self control.
Then the best part! Bouyed by his bold move to cut his hair, his teammates' admiration and his mother's approval, my son's confidence soared. He walked out on the mat and faced a varisity opponent. In under a minute, Dylan pinned the other wrestler and won the match.
The lesson in all of this? Attitude and friends matter a lot when you are facing a challenge bigger than yourself. Dylan hasn't won all his matches, but that day he walked on to the mat with a can-do attitude. And it made a difference.
I wonder what I could accomplish with a more confident attitude. But I don't mean confidence in myself. I'm talking about confidence in the Creator of the Universe who is working constantly on my behalf!
I know the number of times in the past I've compared myself to others, and then stopped before I fully explored my potential. Those are times I placed my confidence in myself. It must make our heavenly Father sad to see His children talk themselves out of things before even trying.
I'm thankful God has put some wonderful friends in my life who are my "teammates" in this journey of life. They've helped my attitude change from "I can't" to "I can" many times. But my confidence truly soars when it's placed in God's ability to make a difference in my life, and be with me when I face my challenges.
I pray you have your own teammates to cheer you on in your varsity matches, and you know the bouyant confidence of knowing God is on your side.
In His Love,
P.S. I was asked how my son did in the wrestling competition I wrote about yesterday, and the answer is so-so. What we've learned is that talent only takes you so far. Experience and strength are just as important. So when Dylan's first opponent had a mustache and rippling muscles, things didn't look good. Let's just say our son is a late bloomer and still looks like a little boy (which I'll enjoy for as long as it lasts). Dylan won 1 of 3 matches, but it was a great learning experience.