Saturday, October 22, 2011

Idol Worship?

I have been around the game of soccer for a long time.  I started playing when I was 5 years old and up until I joined the staff at the University of Memphis Men's Soccer team, I never took a season off.  Additionally, my childhood was comprised of other sports such as football, basketball, and baseball.  Needless to say, I spent a TON of time in my childhood playing sports.

Aspiring Wildcat to be
That being said, there were two days in particular which I hardly ever played or practiced.  Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights were always days/times reserved for church. Heck, even the youth leagues knew not to schedule games or practices during those times because people wouldn't show up.  When I got into coaching, much of this was still the same.  Sure there were times when I was playing or coaching that we would have a tournament or two that we had to be at and Sunday's might have a morning game with an afternoon one.  But this was not and every weekend situation.

I say all this because I have noticed a trend in youth sports nowadays.  There is never an off day or a day reserved for families to attend church.  Heck, now a lot of churches don't even schedule Wednesday night services because parents will be with their kids at games or practices.

My question is, when did this happen?

A friend of mine, who I admire and respect greatly asked me a while back to pray for him and his family.  Ok...nothing new there.  But what he asked me to pray about was the kicker.  He said, "Kelly,our son is playing youth soccer and is really good.  We're about to get to that point where people are going to start wanting him to play competitive ball and I'm a bit worried.  You and I both know how much fun it is and how much we enjoyed it and quite frankly, I enjoy watching him play.  Please pray that we do not make an idol out of our son playing athletics."  He went on to add that he wanted to instil in this son that being at church and worshiping our Lord and Savior means more than playing in a youth sporting event.

Those words really struck me then and continue to resonate in me now.  It got me talking with Mrs. McGoo about how we'll be as parents.  If you didn't know, she was quite an athlete as well and we very much want our children growing up in team sports.  The values that are taught and ingrained into kids during their developmental years is invaluable.  While we don't have kids, we know plenty of folks who do and I've noticed a trend that comes with having them.  Kids first, spouse second, the Lord gets what's left.

If that's not idol worship, I don't know what is?!?!  I had the opportunity to tell that to someone recently...that he's put his child first, wife second, and Lord third.  I cannot say it was the easiest thing to say, but it was completely spirit led.  I'm proud to say he took those words to heart and reflected on it and has made some alterations to how he went about his "worship."

So my hope is Mrs. McGoo and I continue to put the Lord first in our marriage as well as when kids come along.