Final Decision

As promised, I have Becky’s final decision regarding volleyball….

But first, Mike and I went digging to find out some of the deep-seeded reasons she wanted to give up her knee pads for good. Sure, she was tired and looked forward to some time off; and of course, her back injury was pesky and annoying; but we had our suspicions about her reasons for wanting to give up the sport forever. So, as I mentioned in the previous blog post, she took the last month off, and we tabled any volleyball discussions until she returned home from her vacation and camp. Camp, by the way, is a Christian sports camp in southern Missouri, an important detail in the course of her decision-making.

While she was away, and Mike and I were on our vacation, we discussed her impending decision a little, but mostly we prayed for her as she was trying to decide. As time went by, our peaceful discussions allowed us to have greater insight into what may be at the root of what was going on. And when we picked the kids up from the airport, I resisted the urge to launch into a barrage of questions for her. And good thing I did, for some of the root issues naturally came to the surface. You see, the camp they attend isn’t exclusively for athletes, but much of the application of their message comes via athletics. Many of the campers represent their various schools in one sport or another. Kamp Kanakuk ‘gets’ athletes. But more importantly, for those two weeks the kids are surrounded by their peers…peers that understand the pressure, the expectations, and the physical, mental, and emotional challenge that participating on a school team demands. And it was in this environment that Becky finally came to grips with what was bothering her: she no longer wanted the pressure.  More than that, she was beginning to feel an internal call to lead, and really didn’t want the heaviness of that call. For a fleeting moment, I was concerned that I once again passed my underachieving genes to one of the kids, until Mike shared his memories of internal angst over his call to lead. Leadership carries an incredible amount of responsibility with it. Becky didn’t particularly mind the leadership part, as she’s a natural leader. It was the responsibility that was making her squirm.

AND I CAN’T BLAME HER!! I’ve watched and read in horror as the Chick-fil-A debacle has unfolded. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, I’m most concerned with the polarizing responses, the calls for boycotting, and general hatred being spewed over a personal preference. And we want our children to take a stand???? My goodness, I don’t know many kids that have enough backbone to choose a Homecoming Queen without a silent ballot, let alone take a stand on social (and God-forbid, Biblical) issues. We as adults cry out about the lack of future leaders, and yet our future leaders watch us tear each other down over any and everything that opposes our narrow view of the world. Frankly, we ought to be ashamed. We must teach our children how to lead, by showing them how it’s done. And while we’re at it, we may want to brush up on some facets of leadership, ourselves. Love and Respect. That’s how it’s done. Treat others with love and respect, and I guarantee you, people will follow you. Test it and see.

So that was Becky’s hangup. She knows that as a leader, she’ll sometimes be called upon to challenge her teammates’ attitudes or behavior. She just couldn’t imagine how to do it without alienating friends. We have offered to help her through the tough times, providing a positive alternative to the negative examples too often displayed in politics and the media. She has decided to continue her volleyball career. 🙂

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