I was raised with two sisters and a brother, and we got along fairly well as we maneuvered growing up in a culture that was pushing to change everything, correct the wrongs done to the greater population, and address what they felt was good and right.

That was the 60’s.

Our relationships matured with our years, and we get along quite well today.

I could be a lot more engaged than I am.

My family of origin is spread from Wisconsin to Arizona to California. We have seen each other more on zoom these last few months than we have face-to-face in several years. We’re all quite different, which adds to the richness of our relationships.

Sometimes it’s just hard being siblings. Remembering to connect consistently, recognizing that they don’t know all of my life any more than I know the totality of theirs can be challenging.

I see that in the relationships among the grands. They all have a deep appreciation for one another, but day-to-day interactions can be spicy.

Two of my older grands recently competed alongside one another in the district finals of high school soccer. Ethan was the center back, a defender who is quick to see what needs to be done and does it. Teagan played in goal, holding back scoring opportunities so their team won the district championship. Both played stellar games and had a hand in the win.

I’ve seen these two in their natural habitat–home. They get on each other’s nerves and can annoy one another with an artistry that is sublime. 

When it counted in this game, they had each other’s backs. They supported each other well, each making the other look good in their position. Each contributing skillsets that benefited the whole team.

It was amazing to watch the camaraderie on the field as all the players came together cohesively to make a stronger whole than the strength of individual players.

They needed each other to do their best. 

It’s easy to allow the annoyances in life to destroy our great motivations and intentions. We have perceptions of what others may be saying about us or may think about us because we’ve filtered our responses through our own story, one they may know nothing about. 

God calls us to do what’s right by one another. To think of each other as more important than ourselves and be willing to do what is good and honorable for each other, no matter how much we don’t get along or don’t like each other. We’ve been created to connect with one another and do that we need to see past untrue presumptions, ill-advised suppositions, and misunderstandings.

Unless we live authentically with one another, revealing our thoughts and feelings honestly, there’s no way others can understand where we’re coming from. Too often we throw out a comment, a thought, with no context, no explanation, expecting others to know what and how we’re thinking. 

Unwholesome words of accusation, anger, and disrespect don’t benefit anyone. They poke holes in the hearts and souls of others.

Wouldn’t it be better to be loving and forgiving? To let go of grudges and hate?

If intentional cooperation can work on a soccer field, can you imagine how much more we’d win in life if we worked together?

 

 

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