Soccer and money


My 6 year old daughter started soccer this year and neither the coach nor I know much about the crazy game of soccer.  Growing up I played what once were considered the All-American sports baseball, sickness basketball and football.  As a new soccer dad I learned the games at younger ages are usually referred to as “herd ball.”   The first time I heard the name I thought to myself “this ought to be amusing”.  I quickly determined that this name was aptly given because every kid on the field wants to crowd around the ball and kick!  If you are ever distracted from the game finding the ball is relatively easy.  Look for the mass of kids and you are tracking the game once again with very little effort!

I have played a little soccer for fun, buy have watched soccer matches while in college and on television so I do have a pretty good idea of how a soccer match should be played.  But without having played soccer on a team transferring the knowledge in my head to the girls on my daughter’s team has been a real challenge.  During practice the coach and I try to give the girls an example to use in following our instruction.  Our biggest problem is actually showing the girls a good example.

Another challenge we face is explaining the rules.  For their entire lives the girls have been playing every game they know with their hands.  Now at six years old a game is introduced in which you cannot touch the ball with your hands.  Well, kind of.  If you are the goal keeper or after the ball goes out of bounds you can touch the ball with your hands.  A throw in is one of the times you can touch the ball and during the throw in you have to stand with both feet firm on the ground and throw the ball with two hands, yes hands, over your head to one of your teammates.  Try to explain that to six year old girls who have never played before!

Rules, rules, rules.  As I began contemplating the game of soccer and the difficulty we were having I began to imagine God looking at us.  As God’s children He has given us rules to use in the “financial game of life.”

We often wonder why our soccer team has such trouble following the rules of the game.  I had an “ah ha” moment as I realized how kids are different from their parents.  Our children do not know the rules whereas we know the rules of the game but do not want to follow the rules.  The game is to be played our way by our rules!

The “finanical game” is a challenge for everyone at any age, income or gender.  Jesus gives us instruction about being a good steward in the book of Luke.  We are to give to the poor, prepare for service, be readied at all times, faithful and wise stewards (Luke 12:35-48).  How are you following Jesus’ instruction? I look at that short list and know that I have failed in at several of those areas lately.

I want to conclude with a thought from Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required…”  Have you ever wondered how much is much?  If you have children, you have been given much.  So I ask you this question, “How are you teaching the “financial game” of life to your children?”

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 Uncategorized

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