Have you ever been in a situation when you tried so hard to succeed at something but in the end, your best just wasn’t good enough for you to reach that ultimate goal?
My son had that experience this week and as a mom I think that was probably harder on me. We always want the best for our kids, and especially when we see them work so hard for something, it is heart-breaking if they don’t quite achieve that.
This son especially has a great love for the sport of baseball. Years ago he played soccer which was cut short his last year by a broken arm. (From jumping off a swing at a classmate’s birthday party!) At that time in his life, he was also plagued by asthma so it was harder on him running back and forth down the field. Through the years, he has also been involved with the sport of basketball. It used to be when he was in basketball, we would find him saying that was his favorite sport and during baseball, baseball was definitely his favorite sport.
That mentality seemed to change this past year. Baseball became HIS sport! In fact, he didn’t want to play basketball anymore so he could just do baseball all the time. The problem is it seems rare to be able to do baseball year round (due to our snowy winters), so he did continue to play basketball to keep more active.
This past fall, my son played fall baseball at an indoor complex so they didn’t have to worry about the weather interfering with play time. This is when it seemed like the spark in him became even stronger to pursue baseball and when he started saying baseball was his life!
Thankfully, a friend of his suggested to a coach of a travel baseball team that he should check him out. Well, the rest is history. My son has been practicing and playing indoor games ever since and can’t wait for the outside travel tournaments to begin. He loved the day he had practice, helped with another team, and had a double header! His passion is definitely with baseball.
This past week they had school, modified baseball tryouts. He so wanted to make the team this year. He tried out and didn’t make the team last year as they only took three players from his grade level. This year they took more players and sadly he was not one they picked. We’ve heard our school sports are pretty political in nature and as in most things, it seems to depend on who you know. That is definitely a disadvantage for us as he came into the school district as a 6th grader, and because of where we live, we usually go to another town for the recreational sports so he is not really on their “radar.”
A bit after we came home from finding out the results from the baseball try-outs, my son comes out with two white boards that he wrote on. One was listing some goals and one was a workout routine for everyday to help get him more physically fit and stronger. That made my heart so proud, and made me rethink the heart-break I was feeling.
He had risen above the disappointment to make some positive changes in his life. He is more determined than ever to be the best player he can be for the Broome Bandits, his travel baseball team, and to hopefully make the school baseball team next year. Getting in shape physically can only help those goals, make him stronger, and hopefully also help with the mental, positive aspect involved with sports too.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. –Romans 5:3-5
I think so often in our society, there is so much pressure to be #1 …whether it be to climb the corporate ladder and be the top dog, or to be the #1 athlete in the state for a particular sport. It is definitely great to be one of those elite ones, but in most cases, there can only be one of those, so most people don’t achieve that status.
What is even more important I think is that along the way, we put forth our best effort in all we do. We all can’t be #1, but we can all put forth our best effort. It reminds me of a blog, entitled Perfect Effort
, I read about the movie When the Game Stands Tall, one I definitely recommend viewing.
A major theme of the movie is that you can’t always have a perfect “game,” but what is most important is to put forth the perfect “effort.”
As I reflect, I am so proud of my son for putting forth his best effort in the sport of baseball. Through the years, all of his coaches have said that he is such a likable, teachable kid who wants to improve. He will listen to the coach and try to incorporate whatever suggestion they have. He is determined to be better through his list of goals. Thankfully, his travel coach has been so understanding and supportive of what my son is experiencing, so he has let him come down to the complex and practice with his son every day that he wants. My son always wants to get there early, and ends up closing up the place most of the time. I’d say all those things contribute to him putting forth his perfect effort.
Maybe you will be able to relate to some instances in your life when your best wasn’t quite good enough, but hopefully you were able to make the best of the situation and turn it around for the positive. And, I think more importantly, hopefully realizing you put forth your best effort will bring you comfort!
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. –Colossians 3:23-24