Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 82: Game Day

This evening was a struggle for me. Not a struggle to take Allan to a football game, but a struggle on who I should root for. On one side I have my Alma Mater, Paducah Middle School (PMS) and on the other side of the field Forrest and Allan's school, Lone Oak Middle School (LOMS). I was torn at first, I really wanted to support my former school, but I also wanted to be there encouraging Allan to support his team. Come to find out that LOMS was a lot better team this evening and won 30 - 0.

I really wanted to cheer PMS on, especially since they were the underdog in the battle. I have a tendency to always feel compassion for the weaker opponent in a match up. When I was a die-hard NASCAR fan I chose Kyle Petty as my favorite driver, who was an underdog, and I got a whole lot of ribbing about it. I remained loyal though through his career. I really wanted to stay loyal tonight as well, but then it dawned on me - I never attended a PMS game when I went there, so this was my first time to see a game of theirs. So, my allegiance was changed tonight to my home team now, Lone Oak. I'm going to start cheering a favorite on instead of the underdog.

What was good about the evening was a little time together with Allan. He'll look back someday on this, his first football game and hopefully remember that I was there beside him. Even if we at first had a different allegiance, his team won me over. I am often time critical and crucial to the boys and to my wife, so these times are times I need to keep in memory and not the things that always seem to be front and center, the "bad" things.

I remember going through the Love Dare a while back and having to make a list of good things and bad things about Chandra. Know what, the "bad" list was a lot easier to think of things and also a lot longer than the "good" list. After making the list I had to destroy it, symbolically as forgetting those things. Of course I did not, but it did leave a lasting impression on me to not focus on the negatives of my wife. So a couple of years later and I still can easily remember the bad things, but by the grace of God they do not have a hold on me any more. The good list has grown, not because she does things any differently or tries to not do the "bad" stuff, but God has given me the heart and mind to not let those things mean so much any more. Instead the good list is longer and fuller than it ever has been, the bad list is shrinking daily as I fall deeper in love with my wife and appreciate her more.

Part of this was realizing that our marriage is a reflection of God's love for us. Our marriage is to show the world how Christ loves the church and how that relationship is glorifying to God. She is my gift from God, a physical reminder of His love for me. I see her in a new light and that has changed me, not necessarily any changes that have taken place in her.

I am still far from where I need to be as a husband and father, but by God's continued grace and blessing I am on a path that glorifies Him more. I realize that I will never love Chandra as Christ loves His church, but I know that it is one more way to look to Him for that as a goal. It is wonderful to see our weaknesses and know that the only hope we have is found in Christ.

It was also good to see the PMS team in a circle praying before the game. I can only hope that they were praying to the true God of scripture. These kids need to know about God and even though I do not know any of them personally, I desire that they come to know Christ and become a child of God.

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