This week was the last week of T-ball and Coach Pitch baseball for 2 of my boys. It was a quick season since we were out of town for a couple of weeks. Earlier this week, my son had an end of the season party after the last game at a local park. Hot dogs were grilled, side dishes and desserts were brought and the kids had a blast playing on the playground.
As I was waiting for the hot dogs to be grilled, I watched the kids playing. I noticed that the kids were playing keep-away from my son. They had his baseball hat and they were running and passing it to each other while my son tried to catch up with them. I wondered if my son was having fun or getting frustrated. It pained me to watch the game. (I found out later from my husband that my son had played the game the other way around, playing keep away from another kid. He was not innocently being picked on. His game just went on a lot longer because he wasn't as fast as the other kids. But, I didn't know that as I watched.)
My son couldn't keep up and the keep-away game kept going on and on. It seemed like forever to his mom. My 19 month old daughter started making her way to the playground and I followed her. As I got closer to the kids, I quickly realized my son was getting upset. He looked like he was about to cry.
I said his name and stopped him with my hand. I said his name again, stronger. I told him that if he was tired of playing, he should stop running. I said, 'They will not keep running if you stop chasing them.' In a matter of moments, as he was looking at me in desperation, the kids dropped his hat. The game was over. My son was relieved.
After dinner, my son went and played with the other kids like nothing ever happened.
I couldn't stop thinking about the game and how it ended.
A parallel jumped to my mind. Why is it that I often chase (or long for) things that I don't have? I run after them (at least in my mind) with great enthusiasm. I strive for one more thing. I push for it. I get frustrated because it takes time to earn what I want. I keep on struggling to get it, even though I don't need it. It's like the keep-away game. When I see others with something I don't have, I want it. I forget what I have and I long for more and more.
Once I recognize that I have what I need, my discontentment will disappear.
It seems simple when I listen to the thoughts in my mind. It is difficult when I am the kid watching the others play. It is only possible when I depend on a God that reaches my heart with a strong hand and a quiet voice.