This past Saturday we were doing what we do most Saturday mornings…watching my oldest hustle to get the ball in what is slowly beginning to actually look like soccer, instead of the herding of cats, flower picking and running aimlessly that has offered so much entertainment the last couple of seasons!
In the middle of the game, the sprinkler system spanning all the fields turned on, and as you can imagine, mass chaos ensued. Five year olds were freaking out and running frantically, some with glee, others in fear. Parents were quickly grabbing chairs, our precious morning coffee and kids’ gear while trying to avoid getting drenched.
Laura, my sweet friend, and fellow soccer mom, grabbed her chair and began to run. However, she ran at the EXACT pace of the sprinkler, so instead of dodging it, she actually made herself the perfect target to get soaked the ENTIRE time before someone figured out how to shut the water off.
We were laughing hysterically! Her husband said, “Babe, all you had to do was STOP and let it pass you, or speed up and get it behind you.” Tears rolled down my face as I looked at my soaked soccer sister and giggled uncontrollably!
The game resumed, Laura eventually dried out, and later that day I started thinking…how often do we do that EXACT thing in life.
We get hit by “sprinklers” all the time- people, problems, circumstances – that aim to keep us down. No one is exempt, and we are often not in control of when or how they get turned on, BUT what we can control is our pace, our reaction.
We have those two choices Laura’s husband so clearly pointed out between laughs….
Remove ourselves from the situation, re-evaluate our role, slow down, and let it pass us by or…
Pick up the pace, overcome, and put it behind us.
Sprinklers are not that serious….I mean, look at this guy’s face! But it just hit me as such a clear reminder that as cliché as it sounds, life is very little what happens to us and more how we choose to react to it.
And when those sprinklers come, which they absolutely will, it is SO important to surround ourselves with people that will laugh with us (or at us, with nothing but love), and help us see the joy.
When you think back on hardships or sad times in your life, you may not be able to give a definitive cause and effect, but I feel sure you can tell how you grew and how it shaped you into who you are today. I would not appreciate the shining lights in my life nearly as much had I not also experienced the dark. Each of us carry a set of experiences that make us uniquely and beautifully equipped for the life God has for us!
He also gives us people that can give us tough love when we need it. Sometimes the choices are complicated and whether to slow down or speed up isn’t that clear. That’s when we can rely on those people who will be brutally honest, in the best way, to help guide us, laugh with us and make this journey a little more fun. This guy right here is the king of tough love, but as much as I hate to say it, he is usually right! Yup, you saw it in writing babe! He keeps me in check, especially when I am reeling about things that in the grand scheme are SO unimportant!
I think sometimes we try way too hard to appear like we have it all together. Social media and the achievement based society we live in can make us feel less than and alienated, especially when we start to compare our behind the scenes with the highlight reels of others. We begin to believe the lies that we must be the only one struggling. For example, these two are all smiles for the camera…..cue five minutes later when these poms become swords, one boy is crying, the other is in time out and this mom is getting another cup of coffee and praying for patience…
I don’t know if there are any sprinklers in your life holding you back, but if there are, I encourage you to stop or speed up, grab coffee with a girlfriend, and take heart in the fact that you are never alone!
And most importantly, HE is always with you….even if those deep waters are just a silly sprinkler!