I always thought it would be a simple decision to make. Church before sports. End of discussion. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. But, as is often the case, the thought of making a decision and the act of making that decision are very different things.
My friend and I’d had a conversation over morning coffee about our decision to not let our children miss Sunday morning church services to take part in sporting events. That very evening I received an email containing my son’s basketball schedule for the weekend.
Two games were scheduled for Saturday and two for Sunday. The first Sunday game was slated for 9:30 A.M., smack dab in the middle of church.
I sat at the kitchen table waffling on the decision I had confidently shared with my friend hours earlier. Well, maybe it’ll be okay if he misses this one time, the little voice in my head reasoned. Weighing most heavily on my heart was the fact that I knew my son would be disappointed if he couldn’t play. Like most folks, I don’t like to see my children disappointed.
In the end, he did miss that game. He sat in church with his father, his brothers, and me while his team played a game across town. It was painful. Painful, I tell you.
But it was also fruitful. You see, my husband, Corey, and I didn’t tell our son outright that he couldn’t play that Sunday. The conversation went something like this:
“Hey, Owen, what do you think about that game being scheduled during church?”1