This rant…er, I mean…this post is a long time coming. Like I mean a realllyyy loooooonnnnng time coming. So please be patient and bear with me.
My kids are all in high school and I have been to a blue million baseball, football, soccer, basketball, and track events to watch and support them. That does not count marching band, choir, theatre, ballet, and chess events they have participated in. I have loved every minute of those moments and along with their mother will cherish them through the ages and likely remember them very differently than they actually went down. But there is one thing – one person – that I won’t miss in a few years when we retire from the parade of child following.
Loud Sports mom.
She showed up again last night. She was right behind us and she was full throat into the game. It seems she rested her voice for sometime so it could go four quarters. I overheard someone say she had been trained vocally at a Donald J Trump rally. I think her larynx lifted weights all week so she could disrupt the enjoyment of a perfectly good football game for everyone in the stands. Her hard work and dedication to loud and obnoxious paid off last night. Well done ma’am. (Note: This could also be about a dude.)
She yelled “DEFENSE!!!” She screamed “STOP THEM!!” She cried “HIT HIM!!!” She almost hyper ventilated when she yelled “KILL THE MAN WITH THE BALL!!!!”
It was quite a scene.
I really wanted to say to her:
1 – No one on the field can hear you. Not your son. Not the defense. Not even the boys on the bench checking out the girls checking them out.
2 – No one is impressed with the 3 or 4 things you think you know about football and insist on screaming in our ears. Find new material please. You are only yelling the obvious and its annoying. Quite annoying!
3 – You aren’t encouraging your son. He is likely embarrassed by your actions. Think about him please. He’ll thank you later.
4 – I know that you were probably formerly a cheerleader, but you are now retired. It is not necessary to lead parents from the stands in game time activities. We enjoy hearing the actual cheerleaders cheer, the band play their fight songs, children begging their parents for popcorn money, and the man giving the play by play over the intercom. It is a nice stew of fine football sounds and smells.
“So, ma’am, please, please, please be quiet. I beg you!”
Of course because Jamie was with me so I did not confront the lady and did my best to ignore her and focus on the game. Instead of being mad I thought about how Davis is a senior and how he loves the band stuff. And we like watching him laugh, dance, giggle, and of course flash that big old smile. All I needed to do was think about 4 years of high school football games with that Ballard boy (and now a Ballard girl) making my Friday night fun. It almost worked, but she wouldn’t stop. She just wouldn’t…well, you know.
So I went to my happy place. I started to think about other things. I did my best to distract myself from thinking harsh and unfriendly thoughts. As I tried to think of other things I was surprised that what I began to think about was prayer. I was actually thinking about how her behavior was so close to the way I/we typically pray.
We yell at God like He can’t hear us. We pray with big words that we think might impress Him. We jump and holler and make a scene as if our outward actions are showing God how serious we are about the thing we are praying for/about. We pray completely over and past the things that God has put in our life to help us through the problem/pain like songs, sermons, encouragement from others, and sometimes just a still, silent moment that reminds us of His sovereignty. When we pray we are often so focused on what we are doing in the flesh that we miss the spiritual connection that is taking place between us and God almighty.
Our prayerful activities might sometimes be seen by God as annoying, unnecessary, embarrassing, and even foolish. And that should never be. Prayer is the activity that brings us close to God, that removes the noise of the world from our heart, and that leads us into looking clearly into the way we are serving the one who has saved us.
Here is a few sacred sayings about prayer to reset me/us this morning and turn us from being serious screamers at God and into confident and content children speaking with a holy, loving Father who knows their needs and readies all of heaven to help us.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
“The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.” (Proverbs 15:29)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
“Pray continually.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven….” (Matthew 6:9-13)
Application – What are you praying about today? How are you praying? Do you think God can hear you? Are you impressing Him with your words, your tone, your antics? Do you need to pray about the way you are praying?