Friday, May 13, 2011


Two nights ago I had a soccer game.  I was PUMPED, having spent three weeks off the field due to Spring Break and torrential rain.  Here is a photo taken from this week's game.

Actually the game felt like quite the opposite (though I do have dreams of making sweet plays like this one).  We did win, 4-1, but I was a nervous wreck the whole game.  We usually play on turf.  I've gotten spoiled.  This week we played on real grass at Rolling Valley, also known as Death-to-Your-Rolling-Ball Valley.  I've lost two balls there in the last two years.  I'm not TRYING to lose them, but when a shot on goal misses, you can just kiss your ball goodbye.  Either that or you will spend the rest of the night in a fruitless pursuit in a thorny, dark mess.

This field is also shaped like a rainbow.  The middle of the field has to be a good foot or two higher than the sides.  Good for run-off perhaps?  Or for hiding the ball from your opponents (and your own team).  Also, the grass is so thick that the ball hits the ground like it is landing on a pillow.  It dies immediately.

None of these less-than-desirable traits bothered me in the least.  However, when it gets to the lines on the field, I draw my line.  As a goalie, I did not realize how much stock I put in those chalky white lines.  Until they weren't there.  (There was a FAINT residue, but you had to have your face plastered to the grass to see it, which slightly inhibits one's ability to play).  I felt lost and lonely, like a kid stranded in a furniture warehouse after hours.  I spent the whole game unsure of myself, second guessing the plays and lacking the confidence I needed to dive in the middle of the muck.  In the end we did fine, but I could not shake the uneasy feeling even though I was in my most comfortable position on the field.

Most people take pride in jumping out of the goal box, coloring outside the lines.  Americans enjoy setting new parameters and breaking all the rules.  I however, tend to cling to my boundaries set before me.  They are safe and comfortable.  They protect me.  At some point though, I become complacent and too comfortable with my life.  I insulate myself with nice, smart people who are fun to hang out with.  I avoid the people who are hard to love or who cause lots of drama.

Yet God calls us to live differently.  We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).  I am not very good at loving God, but fortunately that does nothing to change his love for me.  If we are imitating Christ, that means we should be loving people whether or not they love us back.  Loving nice people is easy.  Loving the rude, obnoxious, self-centered, critical, demeaning people is not quite as easy, but we are still called to it.

During the game I had some quality time by myself hanging out in goal while the ball was upfield.  Reflecting on the lengths God went to show his love for me, I found some extra love for the not so lovely.

(This is my REAL team, and they are even more awesome than the pros.
Thanks to John Park for his amazing photography skills.)


D said...

Thanks for writing this, now's a good time for me to hear it. However, the first picture looks questionable.

-Mike & Chel- said...

Love you! Wonderful post! Convicting for sure. xoxo