On Saturday, we went to Portland to watch our granddaughter play volleyball at a regional tournament. They had 3 games (over 7.5 hours). I am tempted to brag and let everyone know how awesome she and her team were. Truth is the were not outstanding. They were OK, and it was enjoyable to be there. I wouldn't have missed it for anything. Not only did we get to see her, but the rest of the Oregon 8 (James' seven and Amber's one).
However, having three games in that length of time allows for other activities. Kylie's team was a 14 year old team. That was the youngest age group. There were at least three age groups. Between games, I wondered off to watch other games. The tournament was at the Convention Center in Portland and there were 47 courts set up. Plenty of matches to chose from for sure.
I found myself drawn to the oldest girls' court. Kylie's team was fun to watch and they had some good volleys. As I stopped to watch the older girls, the difference was improved exponentially. The girls were all taller, stronger, and faster. They hit the ball with more speed and force. Girls were diving on the floor and stuffing each other at the net. I could hardly believe the level of play in just three or four years. Age is part of it. Coordination improves to be sure. And of course there is practice and training. Those girls on court 15 (Kylie was on court 6) were serious about their sport. They worked hard, listened to their coaches, did their drills, studied the opponents, and the like. Many of them slept, ate, drank, breathed volleyball. And it showed.
As I thought about the level of growth between them I thought about the differences between where I am and where the giants of the faith are. I am no rookie at the Christian walk. I know a lot of theology, and some apologetics. I offer people ideas and suggestions about their walk, but I have to admit when compared to the giants, the people I respect and seek to follow, I am just a junior. I have those drills to do. I have coaches to listen. I have some hard work if I hope to get anywhere near my mentors.
Quickly, another observation. I watch two teams play a match. I don't know where either team was from. I didn't know any of the players. I never met any of the parents or as far as I know been through their town. (Granted I did know, so I might go through all the time.) Yet, after a few minutes, during the first game of their match, I found myself cheering for the black team instead of the hot pink. Both had great players. The black team slowly fell behind and lost both games. I found myself wondering why. Why did I care if they did well or not? Why did I found them likeable and the other less so? When they changed ends I found myself changing teams. What was up with that?
Sometimes I think we make decisions of what we like and don't like, what we think is right or wrong, what is better, prettier, fancier, better based on some criteria that have little bearing in truth or fact. It seems right. It was what I learned. I don't like hot pick uniforms. I like the underdog. I think it might be appropriate to rethink some of our likes and make sure they are based on something real and true.