I coach a team of 10 year olds. They are precious. They say some ridiculous things in their youthful innocence, but I never leave a practice or game without being amazed in some way. Amazed at the way they are so free.
A few weeks ago we were playing their favorite game, called "flyers." It's basically a really fast and intense game of 1v1. One of the girls was getting a little frustrated because she kept losing the ball. She came running over to me and I could tell she was upset. She sort of looked up at the sky and yelled, "Coach Kelsey....I want the ball! And I want to score goals!" It was sort of funny to me, but I knew it was very serious to her. At this moment, it was all that mattered to her.
On my drive home that night, I thought back to the comment she had made. I realized I was a little jealous. For two reasons.
She's confident in who she is. When she's on the field, she is a soccer player. She isn't ashamed of this, nor is she worried about what other's think. She just "wants the ball!" because a soccer player (and in her case, a forward) needs the ball in order to do what they're supposed to do.
She knows which direction she's going. She "wants to score goals!" because that's the only way to win the game. She knows what needs to be done and nothing is going to stop her. Tunnel vision for her purpose.
Ironic that her name is Grace. She is unaware of the insecurities that will soon consume her life. On a very simple level, she's is free to be exactly who she is, without shame.
I forget who I am. I forget my purpose. Everyday.
I go all these different directions, worried about what all of "them" are saying. And I forget that I just need the ball, and I need to go towards my goal.
Unlike her, the unending grace that we have in the gospel never falters. It continues to remind us of who we are. We are not just forgiven, but we are SET FREE to become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:18), because we are already loved. It also continues to remind us of our purpose. We are called to love others with that same love (1 John 4:19) and to speak this Truth and Hope into their lives (John 8:32, Romans 15:13).
Not just soccer players here to score goals.
Children, set free to be who we are and to love without shame.
Let us not lose sight. We have the ball. Keep running towards the goal. When we forget, grace is there.
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