Why We Get Discouraged
RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – Growing up, Connor was the epitome of a “Jimmy Neutron”. Jimmy was a cartoon character we loved to watch. He was not very athletic, but made up for that with brains. Jimmy was always coming up with a new toy he made describing it in detail with large four and five syllable words. That, in a nut shell, was Connor growing up.
A funny thing happened when he decided to leave homeschooling behind him, and enter in to the 9th grade in public high school. Connor went out for the football team. He had never even watched a game, so I knew within a few practices that Connor would throw in the towel.
For a kid who had seldom run further then the front door, his first week of practice was a real shocker. He came home every evening totally exhausted. He was burning calories like there was no tomorrow, and eating the same way. Yet each day he got up to do it again.
He constantly got frustrated because everyone else understood the game from years of playing. I am sure he was kidded and made fun of by some of the other players. Yet each day he got up to do it again.
Several times Connor got banged up in practices. I’m sure whatever confidence he had waned. I am also confident like Sanballat and Nehemiah, when the other’s smelled “blood” they jumped on the chance to discourage him even more, hoping he would give up and quit. Yet each day he got up to do it again.
There were days he would come home and complain, not about the pain and fatigue, or the lack of understanding the game, but about dropping a pass he was supposed to catch. I realized he was disappointed in his failure to “do his best”.
Each night he crawled into his bed after another practice. But as his eye lids grew heavy, I would kneel beside him and pray. I would thank God for Connor. I thanked Him for all the talents He had blessed Connor with. I thanked Him for Connor’s heart. I thanked God for all of the young men who were seeing Connor live out his faith on the field. I thanked God for Connor’s desire to stay pure through all of the language he heard, and asking permission to use the word “butt”. I laid a hand on his head each night and asked God to bless him, to protect him, to let him be a light to those who didn’t know Him, and to be an encouragement to those who did.
I look back and realize that as usual, God in His perfect timing, answered those prayers. To my utter surprise, Connor made it through the entire season. He got to run a few plays each game, and in the process I saw him win the respect of his coaches.
Isn’t our Christian walk similar to Connor’s football experience? God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. In fact, He created us and KNOWS we aren’t. He just wants us to be like Connor-
- Get up each day and do the best we can, mirroring Jesus in everything we do.
- Don’t get discouraged when things get hard, lean on Him instead (He likes that)
- If we are doing what we know we are supposed to be doing, don’t get discouraged by what others are saying
- Just like playing in a football game, expect others are watching you, and act accordingly
Connor did not go on to play professional football and win the Super Bowl. However, he is doing something much more important. Through his walk, he is helping win souls to Christ! And I couldn’t be more proud of him…
In Judah it was said, “The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall.” (Nehemiah 4:10 ESV)