Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Life is Like a Balance Beam . . .

Well, most of us are enjoying watching the Olympics in our house. The kids and I have stayed up late watching the exciting conclusions of gymnastics and swimming. Mike has found it a good week to go to bed early. I grew up in the Mary Lou Retton era and we watched the tape of the Olympics until I had the commentators comments memorized. So it's fun to watch with my kids, even if it means letting them stay up until midnight.

So last night, we saw one of the American girls fall of the balance beam. She was heartbroken of course. The commentators were saying that she has probably done that trick thousands of times and her nerves played a role in her fall. Well, sorry to say Tim and Elfie but I disagree. I think she fell off because it's 4 inches wide! The stuff they do on that thing is crazy and sometimes you are going to fall. It's inevitable. It stinks when you do it at the Olympics, but come on these girls are humans - not machines. They are prepped and trained for this big moment and failing is not an option.

I like to push my kids to do their best. They have to study and do homework, practice piano, go to baseball practice and I want them to succeed. The problem is that they are human and will have bad days. They'll fail tests, lose games, and have fall outs with friends. They are going to make bad choices and sin at times. And I feel like I am doing them a disservice by not preparing them for inevitable failure. I want them to know that they are not perfect and that's ok. It seems that if you know what's coming you won't feel shell shocked that it happened.

There will be failures and falls, but the important thing is to do your best and keep going. And most importantly to fix our eyes on Jesus - the author and perfecter of our faith. That's the kind of success that is important. Those failures and hard times are the times that we grow closer to Christ and that's probably why God allows them in our lives and the lives of our kids.
What good is it to be a Rhodes scholar or All-Star Baseball player or a piano virtuoso if you don't have Christ?

I feel like this young gymnast was not prepared for failure. Maybe someone should have told her, you know the balance beam is only 4 inches wide, chances are you are going to fall off now and then. That's ok! Just hop back up there and do your best.

I want to encourage and help my kids grow in Christ and rely on Him in those hard times. They need to know that all this stuff they deal with pales in comparison to what they have in Christ.

Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the hoy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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