We went up to my brother-in-law’s church the other night for their living nativity. They had a scene with Moses, we even crossed the Red Sea! It reminded me of a post I did a couple of years ago.
We like to measure things in our life. We like fairness, we like justice. (Of course often that just means “good for me.”) The method by which we measure can be the topic of a different post, but now I just want to ask, over what time period do we balance?
Part of the process of growing up is the widening of our scales. When we are young, and I can see it in the boys, if something is not immediate, it is not right. I want instant satisfaction. As we grow older we (should) mature and be able to see farther down the road.
I work for two weeks, then I get paid. For two weeks, I am working without any reward. I do not mind that. I know that at the end of the two weeks, I will be well rewarded for my work. That is a two week width in my scales.
How much wider can we make them? Here is a simple image that came to my mind to help communicate this idea. Of course, it does not come close to really showing it, but it should give you and idea.
Your life is a blip on the radar of time, nothing in relationship to eternity. I am not a physicist, but I think a lever with an infinite length could provide quite a bit of force. However, that is not how we usually see it. We only look at one side of the scales. We are only concerned with now. Maturity is the ability to widen our perspective.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:28-29 (NKJV)
How valuable is being conformed to the image of Christ? What amount of sacrifice is that worth?
Petr had two playoff games on Saturday. The early one they did not play at their best and came away with a draw. The afternoon game they played way above themselves and won 3-2 over a great team. After adding up the AYSO tournament scoring numbers, Petr’s team had made it to the Semifinals to be played Sunday morning.
This weekend also marked a record 7th time in the calendar year that Real Madrid met Barcelona. Every time they meet it is known in Spain as “El Clasico.” Real Madrid has had a bad run as of late, and Saturday showed their fortune has not changed, as they lost 3-1 at home. Not the makings of a great weekend for me, a Real fan.
Sunday was a better day. I was asked to teach the High School group at church because the youth pastor is on a missions trip to Uganda. That went really well, but I did miss one of Petr’s soccer games in the morning.
They won the morning game which meant they were going to play in the AYSO East County Final. Of all the teams from Alpine, Jamul, Lakeside, Santee, El Cajon and La Mesa it had come down to these two.
At around the 2 minute mark, they gave up a penalty on a handball inside the area. The boy from the other team struck it hard and right into the net off a slight deflection from the keepers hands after a great dive. Knowing that Petr’s team had been playing a bit above themselves for most of the tournament, I feared that would be a tough goal to overcome. I was wrong! Good coaching, great defending, awesome goalkeeping and constant passes forward left the other team exposed to the counter attack, time after time. The game ended 5-1. So Petr’s team is now the regional AYSO champion U10 team.
That is a great weekend. (Now we get to go play in the Southern California tournament in February.)
Petr has really picked up his game in the last few weeks. I think he is learning he can actually do it. This means more things for me to learn as a parent. He has become a bit more aggressive and seems to have an interest in making things happen.
Petr played in the regional AYSO playoffs this weekend. His team played against Alpine. The run of play was mostly one way for Petr’s team with close to 70% of the possession. The other team had one player who was a constant threat to counter attack, but they did not produce any real scoring chances in the first half.
The first half also had Petr’s great shot, probably his best of the season. It came at the end of a great play, which at this level is quite rare. Most goals come from the outstanding play of a single player. One of his teammates gathered the ball around midfield and moved down the field, eventually laying it off to his right, where Petr, in his regular form, was excellently positioned. He tapped it forward and finished with a strong strike. Unfortunately it was straight at the keeper who made the save.
The second half saw more of the same, Petr’s team enjoying the majority of the possession, but no goals were coming. Off of a goal kick, the ball bounced to Petr. He was near the right sideline about even with the center circle, just inside the offensive half. He wound up his leg and struck the ball on a half volley. It soared over everyone, including the keeper, finding the upper left corner of the net, 1-0.
He was really excited. He continued to play with a renewed sense of passion. They went on to win 2-1. They got another good goal from their best player and gave one up on a counter by the other teams best player.
After the game he said to me, “I thought that kind of goal could only be scored by someone on Real Madrid or something!” Sometimes it just takes a taste of success for us to grasp God’s design in our lives. The hard work never seems like it is going to pay off, so graciously He lets us score from time to time. Sometimes He also rewards us when we do well. Petr will be getting slurpees every day this week.
If you read the comments on my earlier post, you would have known there was a typo (my fault, no Swahili spell checker and I was typing too fast) on my license plate frame. I ordered replacement ones. Somehow they produced the two plates I ordered and omitted the “Mungu” at the top of one of them. It reminds me of working with more than one company in Kenya. I guess that is appropriate.