The Beautiful Game–More Or Much Less

Isley has wanted to be a soccer player for awhile.

Number four of five children, she’s seen her three older siblings don uniforms, head to the pitch, and engage in 06661475-cd3a-4421-9859-6dfa8eed54b0the beautiful game.

Being an uninvolved observer, she’s been wondering when it would be her turn to play. To have a chance to show her awesome skills.

And finally get her own uniform.

Going to Isley’s game was nothing short of an entertainment bonanza. These four and five-year-olds have a ton of enthusiasm.

And very short attention spans.

The concept of the game is quite simple. One team gets the ball into the goal of the opposite team using only their feet to move the ball.

The kids got this much. They did everything in their power to get that ball into the other goal.

a45db8fd-69a1-45f8-9fd2-822c6c337e5fMuch of the time in spite of their teammates. Or at their teammates peril.

At halftime, their two coaches talked with the kids about being on the same team and working together. How it didn’t help to take the ball away from their own player because the idea was to score as a team. Cooperation.

A bit of a challenge when everyone wanted to be the one to score a goal.

Kids were tackling their own players to get the ball. Knocking them out of the way with a random shove. Inadvertently tripping their own teammates.

It was hilarious. Like watching a rerun of “I Love Lucy“. Where great intentions devolved into chaos. At one point one of the players walked off the field to pet a dog. While the game was in progress. Another walked off and sat on his mom’s lap.

During one of her turns on the sideline, Isley and her friend, Jack, were digging holes by the field. They were 4a6e330d-c780-4fc6-9309-fff70b86ff5dburying their water bottles.

You can’t make this stuff up.

I have no clue what the score was at the end. Someone won.

They walked away thrilled. Candy was involved.

Watching little kids learn a sport is fun. And funny. Their worlds are still small. They believe they’re at the center. Much of what they learn helps them feel better about who they are. Cooperation and sharing come a little slower. A little later.

As an adult, I can have the same attitude as Isley. I need to score big to be appreciated. I have to win to be recognized.

Being a team player is hard.

I share this world with a whole lot of people who don’t think or act like I do. Learning to live together, cooperating, should make it easier for all of us.

6d812e2d-4c1b-4854-b298-38081e88bc84Jesus called us as His followers to love others as He loves us. Unselfishly. Sacrificially. Genuinely. Make the choice to cooperate.

Love–the ultimate cooperation.

Life–the greatest team sport.

God–the perfect, ideal Coach who can teach us how to do life well and give us the power to do it.

Am I just about the goals I score?

Being a team player is hard.

Not being alone on the playing field when faced with tough competition?














10 responses to “The Beautiful Game–More Or Much Less”

  1. Again, well done, friend! You nailed it re: not being able to make this stuff up and that applies to the game of life as well. Some days I think someone must have made the drama up that plays out around me, but nooooo. It is all so very real. And we, His body, too often play the same way the kids do, “tackling one another to score, knocking others out of the way with random shoves, inadvertently tripping fellow teammates.” Yep, teamwork is hard…but I love your conclusion and thank God that it is so true.


    1. Life is a huge sporting event, isn’t it? And we’re not always crazy about the teams we’re on. But God knows what we need–even when we fight it. I’m glad we’re in this together. Just wish it was closer!!!


  2. alice fredricks Avatar
    alice fredricks

    Dayle, I SO identified with what you observed. When our youngest son started playing soccer in second grade it was about the same…lots of running everywhere and no real concern for who won or lost. They simply had fun! Why can’t we adults enjoy the “journey” more, too? Oh, the simplicity of childlike faith that Jesus spoke of!!


    1. How I long for the childlike simplicity of just being in the game with Jesus! You nailed it, my friend–why can’t we just enjoy the journey more? And not make it so complicated. Words to ponder, for sure.


  3. Dayle, I admit, I have the SAME ATTITUDE as Isley! I need to score big to be appreciated, win to be recognized, and BEING a team player IS HARD, also! I have to LEARN – JESUS IS the POWER of NOT BEING ALONE!!! Love and Blessing to You and John!


    1. Why do we feel we always have to play to win–when we’ve already won? Big time. Love you, Lo!


  4. i love this. And YOU. AND how you write. And LOVE that your wonderful family now includes adorable grandbabies. So so so very grateful for you and John. (Or as I call him. Johnrogers!!! 😘


    1. I love that you call him Johnrogers as one word. Always have. Always will. And I love you, my friend–you’re a faithful encourager and a lover of the heart of Jesus. Thank you for loving me well.


  5. Sheila Scorziello Avatar
    Sheila Scorziello

    Great! You certainly can’t make that stuff up! And such a needed message!!


    1. Thanks, Sheila. I’m finding most of life is something you can’t make up! I appreciate the encouraging words.

      Liked by 1 person

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