I’m tending my five-year-old grandson, Eli, for a week. Bright and early this morning he had a soccer game. On the way there he was telling me all about the other players. “Mike’s job is to run fast,” he said. “Luke’s job is to kick the ball. Tyler’s job is to score goals. And my job is to make the team laugh.” And he does that. I laughed the entire game. I also witnessed a great example of living in truth.
One of the blue players, Jared, refused to play soccer and instead sat in the middle of the field while the game went on around him. His mother yelled encouragement from the sidelines, but Jared didn’t move. At the end of the first quarter, the mother, agitated at her son’s behavior, retrieved him from the field and sat him down hard on the sidelines. “Are you going to play or not?” the mother asked. Jared didn’t answer, nor did he respond in any way. It was as if he were deaf. Growing angry now, the mother demanded, “Get out there and play. If you’re not going to play I’m going to take you home.”
The simple truth of the matter was Jared didn’t want to play soccer. Why I don’t know. He could have been too tired, or not feeling well, or uninterested in soccer, or shy about participating. But instead of accepting the truth of the matter—that Jared didn’t want to play, the mother entered the pit of Illusion with the thought, “Jared should play soccer.” Remember Truth is what is—not what should be. She, too, had her reasons for wanting Jared to play. Maybe she was thinking about the cost to let him play, or maybe the embarrassment. Every other kid was out there having a good time and hers was sitting in the middle of the field sulking. Everyone would think she was a terrible mother. Or maybe she was thinking about how early in the morning it was and she could have been sleeping in on a Saturday morning. Whatever her thoughts, they were all about what should or could be happening and not the verity of the situation—not the truth. As the minutes rolled on, her anger and stress increased. You could see she was unhappy and distressed. She was causing herself pain—unnecessary pain.
Finally she jerked the boy to his feet, pulled him to the car, and left. Her negative emotions did nothing but make her miserable. They never helped the situation they only caused her pain. But if she had dealt with the truth, Jared didn’t want to play soccer this morning, accepted the truth and acted on that truth, she would have escaped the pain and misery. She even might have noticed Eli's antics on the field and gone home laughing.