FROM THE BLEACHERS Lessons from lost sleep and a lost basketball

My boys love sports and participate in as many as they can. It often stretches our family to the limit, leaving me to wonder, “Is this worth it?” Until this week.

Last month, Logan’s travel team had a basketball tournament. Our team drew the short straw and had to play 4 games on Saturday in order for each team to play 3 games. All the other teams only had to play 3 games. We hadn’t done so well and our last game ended at 11:15 pm. The boys had to be on the court by 7:30 a.m. for their next game. As I woke Logan up after 6 hours of sleep, I thought, “This is ridiculous! He is going to be exhausted. For what? Basketball? It’s not even for something important! And while I am complaining, let me give the person who scheduled this event a piece of my mind!” But as I sipped my coffee and began my morning devotions, I came to a realization. How much of life is doing what you have to when you frankly don’t feel like it, you are tired, discouraged and there is a good chance you won’t ‘win the tournament’? Do you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and do it anyway? Of course. And it’s not like we were waking him up early to shovel rocks out of a hole. He is going to play basketball! He loves it! Is there a better way to learn a life lesson than while doing something you love? Right then I ended my pity party for him, and I decided that regardless of where his team placed in the tournament, learning to give your best despite adversity is a lesson far more valuable than winning a tournament. We lost our first game which dropped us into the lower bracket. But that wasn’t the end of the story. During the second game, he received the best compliment. It wasn’t his teammates congratulating him on a great play. It was the opposing team shouting, “Don’t let Number 15 shoot!” We won that game by only 2 points. At our final game, we were down by 2 points. With 18 seconds left on the clock, Logan swished a 3 pointer, the other team wasn’t able to score, and we won by 1 point! That day had a double blessing - a great life lesson and an exciting win. And now we are moving on to our next life lesson – keeping up with your belongings. If you happen to find an expensive basketball lying around with our name and phone number on it, give us a call. Until then I will be sipping my coffee, thanking God for the wonderful people and opportunities in my children’s lives which are teaching them lessons I could never teach them on my own. Submitted by Rebecca Gilliard

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