I know this is a rather late blog, but bear with me on this. My thoughts went to this the first chapter of Deuteronomy tonight…
all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, the plain (the valley of Jericho, the City of Palms), and as far as Zoar. The LORD then said to him, This is the landc about which I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, “I will give it to your descendants.” I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross over. So there, in the land of Moab, Moses, the servant of the LORD, died as the LORD had said; and he was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; to this day no one knows the place of his burial. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated.
So how is it on a Tuesday night that my thoughts would go to this Chapter of the Bible? My wife and I have invested many years in varsity high school sports. Our first year of this was 2002 – we had moved back from Decatur, IL and our kids were attending Gateway Academy. At that time, our oldest daughter was in 8th grade, but the high school soccer program was very small and they needed girls to play up on the Varsity team…since Gateway was not part of MSHAA at the time, Grace was able to varsity soccer as an 8th grader. 8 children played a variety of sports in high school…soccer, basketball, volleyball, track & field, field hockey, wrestling, cheer, theater and choir (I’m going to hear from my boys on the last three :)) over the 19 years. That’s a lot of days/nights/games/practices/ups/downs.
Fast forward to tonight. Tonight Teresa’s soccer team took the field against Lafayette in the first round of the district playoffs but there was one slight problem…game time was 6:30PM, she had to be back at school and dressed out for her last choir concert by 8PM. Both the soccer coach and the choir director knew about the conflict. She didn’t get to play in the soccer game tonight and when we left to go back to Marquette, the Mustangs (Marquette) were winning 2-1. We left, but our daughter Mary stayed behind to watch the game (Covid protocol only allowed for Sarah and I to attend the final choir concert at school). As we were sitting down in the theatre for the concert,, the phone buzzed…3 minutes to go and Marquette was still winning. Then the phone buzzed…40 seconds to go and Lafayette tied the game at 2. Concert starts but I had a pit in the bottom of my stomach about the soccer game. Mary texted again…no score after 9 minutes into the 10 minute overtime. And then the phone buzzed again quickly…with 21 seconds left in overtime, Lafayette scored and won 3-2 over our Marquette Mustangs. It was in the middle of the 4th song of the concert the cold hard reality sunk in…I have 3 more songs to go and our high school varsity experience would be over. The concert was beautiful and Teresa was part of a “solo” but just as quickly as it started 19 years ago, it is now over.
And so my thoughts drifted to Moses. I thought of all he went through to lead God’s chosen people; all the sacrifices he endured through the trials with the Egyptians, the Exodus, the wandering in the desert, receiving the 15 (according to Mel Brooks) commandments, the burning bush…all of that only to be told at the end… I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross over. Just as I’m sure Moses was like WHAT?!? is exactly how I feel right now. WHAT?!? How can this be over? Just give me another soccer game…volleyball, basketball, play, wrestling match – heck, I’ll even cheer for the cheer leaders…this can’t be it. But it is and I think that might be the point. I had all these grandiose plans for the final soccer game, but they have now changed. I’m sure Moses had his eye on a condo and a jacuzzi but that wasn’t in the plan God put together for him. Same for me. I pray every morning to have the courage to live my life according to His will; according to what He has planned for me. So I’m sure He’ll understand my sorrow for the rest of tonight but come tomorrow, I’ll wake up and start fresh in the morning. I will wake up and dedicate my day to His will and all will be well. I can say I have many fond memories of watching my children compete, sing, dance, act and with a slight hesitation – cheer. I have God to thank for all of that and I will do so.
Do something great for our Lord today – let Him make the plans, you just need to have the courage to follow them. I’ll remind myself in the morning that His joy will be in me and my joy will be complete…but tonight I’m gonna sit and wonder how the hell did all that time go by so quickly.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.