Saturday is sports day--- the Athlete had a wrestling meet and LPCoolJ had a basketball game. Mamma Deacon and I split duties on days like this. Each of us follows a kid. The Athlete was in a double elimination bout. He lost the first one to a very quick, very experienced wrestler. Then came the second match; he was wrestling a kid of equal ability. My favorite wrestler was ahead on points going into the second round, victory was in his grasp (so to speak). Then something went wrong...he was pinned for a loss. Needless to say, he was crushed.
On the other side of town, LPCoolJ and his church basketball league cohorts were playing. I made it just in time for the start of the game. CoolJ's team only had five players show up. The other team had eight or nine. I thought for sure they would not have the steam to make the whole game and win, but LPCoolJ's team won by 14 points. CoolJ scored a bucket or two. His source of pride was that everybody on his team scored. I agree!
I am not writing this to give the Sacramental Dude's sports report, but to reflect on this day. As the Athlete and I drove to his brother's game, I tried to console him. I can remember my dad doing the same thing when I played centerfield and the baseball went sailing over my head in little league. My team lost. Boy, did that loss sting. At some point, my son will discover that the only way to get through losing and/or failure is to learn from it. Perhaps that is a skill we learn as we get older. Those reflections and lessons are for future days; for now, today, the sting is enough.
On the other hand, LPCoolJ is on cloud nine. Victory suits him well. He has not always been on winning teams when it comes to organized sports, so today is very special. He has recounted his made shots and forgotten about the times he missed. He has taken pride in his team's success. At some point, my son will discover that the only way to keep winning and/or succeeding is to learn from it. Perhaps that is a skill we learn as we get older. Those reflections and lessons are for future days; for now, today, the sweetness is enough.
At various times of life, we deal with loss and failure; then there are those times of success and victory. We cannot escape the bitterness or the sweetness of those moments. Nor can we dwell on them. We take our contests of life with us, hopefully learning and growing from each one, always claiming more than the moment, trapped in a memory. Hopefully, that is not true just of sports, but of fatherhood, and work, and church, and life.
The only way to go through life well is to learn from it. Perhaps that is a skill we learn as we get older. Those reflections and lessons are for future days; for now, today, the experience of this day is enough.
May there be many more days of wrestling and basketball and life from which to learn.