Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's a Choice--Truth or Illusion?

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.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate this post so much. I walked in Jared's mother's shoes way too long. It wasn't until my third child that I finally understood this concept. Thanks to some great examples around me, I finally understood that my job was to love them, accept the for who they are and guide them to correct principles. Along the way they will be who they are and do what they do, but that doesn't mean that they will not grow up to be righteous people. I got to the point where I could teach them, discipline them and enjoy all my time with them. They are all righteous adults now teaching their children. One of my children was just like Jared and still doesn't like soccer and it is fine. I would love to see Eli's antics and won't he be fun to watch grow up. Thanks again. Cathie

Wendi said...

Thanks for sharing this experience, Sherrie. I've been reading Mariah's blog too and Eli sure is a cute kid! :)

Also, I had a friend send me a message on Facebook, since I had posted links about your blog and book on there recently. Her name is Marika Bird and she knew Laresa when she lived in Texas. She said that she really enjoyed her friendship. You've raised some wonderful children. :)

Finally, I wanted to share an experience we've had at our house lately. My daughter and her good friend have been going through some drama in their friendship as they've transitioned from playing together constantly during the summer to not having any classes together now that they're in 7th grade. I've been very frustrated as I've watched this situation and have seen hurt feelings in both of them. Finally, I took the opportunity to talk to both of the girls together today. I told my daughters' friend that I was thankful for her and that, even though this has been a hard transition for both of them, I hoped that they would continue to treat one another kindly. I felt like I was dealing with the present for a change, and not worrying about the past or the future anymore. :)

Laresa said...

Wendy How do you know Marika? You made my day by posting that comment on my Mom's blog of all places. I miss Marika. We had boys about the same age too. What a small world.

Wendi said...

Laresa, we grew up in Tallahassee, Florida together. (In fact, she has a sister named Laresa as well!) We hung out a little when she was here at BYU. And she's visited us a couple of times when she's been back in town. We've kept in touch through e-mail and Facebook. It IS a small world. :)

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Cathie, don't you wish we had learned some things sooner! Thanks for sharing

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, It is a small world! Thanks for sharing your experience.