God's Overflow
"For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" – Luke 6:45

Soccer Saves – Pt II – “Betterment”


(If you missed the INTRODUCTION to the series or the first part of the series, PATIENCE, click on the links to read them!)

Once the stretching was completed, it was time to start the warm up. At this point, it was time to see what the other guys brought to the table in soccer skills. I could tell by looking at them that they played soccer… a lot. They were pretty fit guys, and they just had this air about them that they knew how to play. BUT, as we all know, you never know what someone has until they are forced to showcase their skills.

The decision was made to play a small game of “keep away”. Since there were only three of us at the time, it was essentially a two-on-one drill. One had the ball, and that person needed to keep he ball from the other two players. Already having seen these two guys kick the ball around, I knew I was in for a butt whoo…. Er…. Treat.

I thought to myself, “I need to have some confidence. I need to just go after this with everything I have. I can’t let my ability, or lack of, scare me into playing conservatively.” Um… what the crap was I thinking? They were dribbling circles around me! One guy had the ball at my feet, and every time I went for the ball, he’d move it to the other foot. I’d go after the ball on his other foot, and he’d move it back to the original foot. I felt like I was standing on TOP of the ball, and I STILL couldn’t get to it. The two times that I actually had the ball in my possession, it didn’t last more than around five seconds. To say I felt worthless would be an understatement… but I couldn’t even entertain that thought because I was too busy trying to get the darned ball!

As I whimpered my way to the sideline to take a breather (“did anyone bring an oxygen tank with them?”), I figured it would only take a quick minute to get myself composed, but as I saw that it was taking more than a couple of minutes, I knew I had no choice but to go back at it again. As I started to drag my entire slug of a body back to the warm-up, three more guys showed up. As soon as I saw them, I knew that it was time for a major break.

I’ve faced the same exact situation in my Christian life. When I moved to Oklahoma City, I had a wonderful group of Christian men and women take me under their wing to help me get acclimated in the city. As my relationship with them strengthened, they invited me to their bible study. It was made up of very strong and very determined Christians. These were the types of Christians that you knew that, not only did they walk the walk, but they talked the talk. They were very faith-filled, knowledgeable, and loving people.

The first night that I went to their bible study, to say that I was intimidated would be a vast understatement. I was overwhelmed. I expected that I would have as much knowledge and insight as them. I really thought that we would all be on the same level as far as our faith in God was, and I was extremely wrong

My first instinct was to run away. I didn’t want to go back! I kept thinking, “These guys are better than me. They know more, they’re more faith-filled… they’re better than me in every aspect of my faith. I feel useless during discussions, I don’t understand the concepts they’re talking about… why am I here?” I asked myself what reasons I had to stay? The bible study leader’s sermon was way over my head. My mind was swimming. I was confused. I had a hard time keeping up with what they were teaching. Their insight was so deep. How could the leader get the messages that he was out of the verses he was sharing with us? There was no way I could continue in this group.
I am so glad that I made the decision to continue to go.

I learned so much from everyone that was there. I needed to embrace the opportunity to surround myself with others who know more than I do. I had to learn to not let my intimidation get the best of me because, when it comes down to it, if I had not stayed with that group, I would not have grown as much as I ended up growing.

Was I still intimidated when I went back? Absolutely! Was I able to understand everything they said within the following couple of weeks? No. But I made a conscientious decision to keep myself surrounded with those that were stronger in the areas that I was weak. In fact, if it weren’t for me staying, I would not currently have a mentor that has made a difference in my life as well as very close friends.

What are the areas that you are weakest in your life? You may have the inability to apply patience to a situation you’re facing. You may have issues with spending too much money when you’re trying to save. Are you having an issue loving people no matter what situation they are in? Are you looking to strengthen your relationship with your spouse?

I encourage you to be honest with yourself about what areas you lack, and find people in your church who are stronger in those areas than you are. If you’re trying to learn patience, find someone who is more patient than you are. Are you spending money like there’s no tomorrow? Find someone in your church who can teach you how to budget and spend your money the biblical way. Ask them to hold you accountable as well. Is it hard for you to love people where they are? Find one of the most loving people you’ve ever met and find out how they are able to do so. Are you looking for a tighter bond in your relationship or marriage? Find a couple in your church who has a very strong marriage and find out how they’ve been able to stay so solid through all of the years.

If you will surround yourself with people who are stronger than you are in certain areas, watch how much your life will change. Before you know it, you will be much further along in those areas than you have been before!

PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for all that you have done in my life. I thank you for all of the situations you have helped me through, and I thank you for all of the situations you will help me through. Lord, help bring to light the parts of my life that are not bringing you glory. I know that I have a problem with _________, and my life’s goal is to be more like you. Lord, please direct me towards someone in my life that can help me with this problem. I pray for your divine direction, putting in my path the person or people that can help me overcome my struggle. Thank you Lord!

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