For the last three months, Shelly and I have been coaching volleyball teams. I’ve had a 7-12 grade team, she’s had a 3-4 grade team. The last day for this year’s season was Saturday.
Even though our respective players ranged from 8 to 17 years of age, I noticed one consistent phenomenon. After nearly every play, regardless of their performance or involvement in the action, those girls would reflexively look into the stands to lock eyes with a parent. As the pattern repeated itself week after week, it struck me on two levels.
First, kids care. They may act as if they don’t, but they do. They care about their parents being present to watch, encourage, and cheer. Dad, your 13-year-old daughter may be blossoming into the most supremely confusing enigma you’ve ever experienced, but she cares about whether or not you are in the stands. Mom, your 8-year-old son may take you for granted day-after-day-after-day-after-day-after-day at home, but he cares about whether or not you are still his biggest cheerleader. As parents, our presence, attention, and enthusiasm for our children matters.
Second, what a powerful illustration of what we ought to feel and do as redeemed sons and daughters of God! Ask yourself, “What impact could be felt if–throughout the day–regardless of what is going on, I reflexively looked with child-like faith to lock eyes with my heavenly Father?”
- “That just happened. What does my Father think of it?”
- “How does he feel about the way I handled myself in that situation?”
- “What would he encourage me to see that I missed in that scenario?”
- “Did I just step out-of-bounds? If so, how would he correct me?”
- “What should I learn from this experience?”
- “How am I being trained to distinguish good from evil?”
- “Is my Father proud of me?”
- “What can I do to bring even more joy to his heart?”
Regardless of what is going on in your life today, your heavenly Father desires a relationship with you. He is present. He is perfect. He is for you.
__ I lift up my eyes to the hills.
____ From where does my help come?
__ My help comes from the LORD,
____ who made heaven and earth. (Psa 121:1-2)
May we train our hearts to reflexively look towards him.