When dreaming big pays off

I have a son, who is a born dreamer. When he saw his first NBA basketball game, he fell in love with the glory that can be found in sports. He spends a fair share of time fantasizing about breakaway slam dunks and half court buzzer beaters. I cringe when his fantasizing comes across more as showboating or when his disappointment that reality doesn’t measure up to his fantasy causes him to be overly disappointed about what I consider to be the small stuff.

As his mom, I am more concerned with teaching him sportsmanship and teamwork. Fed up with some of the overly competitive messaging tied into youth sports, I signed him up a basketball league called Upward, which specifically focuses on character development and helping the kids make the connection between faith and athletics.  It’s been a great experience for him.

He’s come a long way and last week, I was proud when he won the Christ-like award for the character he showed in the game. With his showboating and emotions in check, I’ve truly enjoying watching him be part of a team.

Yesterday though! You could have knocked me over with a feather. Somehow in the last quarter of his last game of the season, he had an opportunity to take a last second half court shot, and it went in!

I wish I could bottle the sweetness of the moment. His jaw literally dropped, his eyes turned into saucers, he put both hands on his cheeks, and a beautiful peace came over him. It was so surprising that everyone from both sides cheered, but it wasn’t special because of that cheering that only lasted a few seconds. It was special because his dream came true. An unlikely goal he’d practiced a million times and always believed was possible came into fruition. As his mom, I teared up because in that moment, I realized how powerful his faith is.

As a mom, I’m always going to be more focused on trying to instill character traits in my kids. As a mom, I’m never going to think sports are the most important thing in life. But as a mom, I’m always also going to want my kids to have the grace to live their wildest dreams.

I think God is like an invisible, all powerful strict mom. He doesn’t want us to carry our crosses for the sake of carrying them. He wants us to work hard develop character attributes, so we can experience the glory of His miraculous presence in our lives, which is a joyful, peaceful reality that brings freedom and grace in surprising ways like it did for my son at the game yesterday.

Seeing my son have his special moment yesterday reminded me to dream big and expect great things from God through perseverance in faith! It reminded me that time spent dreaming is never wasted. It helped me realize that dreaming is basically the same thing as praying with emotional and imagination, which is what I’m all about.

God, give us the grace to dream big! Be with us as we do the hard work to develop character attributes that serve others as well as ourselves. Purify our desires, and fill us with dreams for Your glory, rather than our own. When the time is right, give us opportunity to live our dreams and glorify You with our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

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