I struggle with my competitive nature. I see that, in regards to sports, I could have perhaps accomplished more. I don’t say that for sure because like most of the other areas in my life I tended to be lazy in practice and building up my skills. So now I have my own kids and I do not want them to miss the opportunity I missed. I want to push them into sports, as many sports as I can manage so they can excel. I want them to have the same desire to compete that I have. And I can see why so many parents spend their weeknights and weekends running from one practice to a game to a tournament.
But I also read in the bible that I should not conform to this world. It may not seem obvious that I would be conforming to this world if I was running my kids all around southern New England but am I not chasing the same ideals of the secular parents that are doing the same thing for their kids? Would I be any different than a non-Christian? I could see me convincing myself that the reasons for doing so, for neglecting God and the church in pursuit of my dreams through my kids, to spending cold Sunday mornings stamping my feet, all bundled up sipping hot coffee or chocolate, that what I am doing is different simply because I am a Christian.
It is so difficult to maintain our focus our eternal matters. It is so easy to get caught up chasing the dreams of the world and the earthly rewards that could come with them. But we are called to go through a transformation. We are told not to pursue worldly things for they are empty and worthless in respect to God. I know some will criticize me for what I am saying, that playing sports is good for the kids and such, and it is, to a certain extent. But I draw the line when earthly, temporal pursuits conflict with eternal realities. When something else becomes a priority over worshipping my Lord and Savior, it is time to reevaluate my life and the effect my choices are having on the eternal future of my kids.
I know I cannot guarantee that through my obedience to God by raising my kids His way that they will be saved. But I know that my obedience will plant a seed in them, and maybe instead of competing in sports and being consumed by worldly pursuits they will endeavor to pursue God.