Ayden James Reilly, our “A”, our eldest grandson, seventeen years old, Senior at Randall High School, in the top 11% academically of his class, walks the Kingdom (I am sure he is not perfect, just have not seen it) and one of the greatest family young men I have seen.
Last night as we came in from the first District Football Game of the Year in Plainview, this picture was hanging on the wall in the garage. Pride of this young man swelled inside my soul.
There has not been a game this season he did not make his appearance on the field of play, he had some critical situations where he shined, when given the opportunity he stepped up to the level of expectation of all of us. He has proven himself as a man with character, determination and humility to honor others. There is much that could be said here, however, as our family spoke last weekend around the table (without his presence), everyone around the table spoke of his positive influence upon the other grandsons.
Every week can be his last game to play organized football, in the playoffs it is win or go home. He will not pursue football in college, he will focus on academics and the rest of his life (again a wise young man). So the urgency of this blog caused me to write it now.
While Ayden has not received the playing time he nor us desired, he is PLAYING. In quiet time today, the reflection of all the kids playing with him in elementary school, then those in Middle School, that have long passed the rolls of the team. For some it was a smart decision, for others, it will be a defeat they will live with, if there are not some serious changes in their life, it will become a life pattern.
Football has some values that it is important in our soft society of the day, it toughens young men up. It also teaches young men to take risk, one player last night still did not know much after a first quarter hit in the head. He did not know the game was over or that his team had won.
Sports in general is more than showing off your physical abilities and gifting. Sports should teach our kids team play; perseverance in the face of discouragement; how to come back and win after defeat; how to focus; physical and emotional discipline; etc. Sure there are more but this blog is not about sports, it is about ‘paying the price’.
The scripture screamed this morning, Matthew 22:14 (MSG), ‘many are invited, only a few make it’. The words of our Lord screamed to the thing football had taught our “A”. Yes, it is a game, but the Apostle Paul used the metaphor of sports to challenge us believers. We are to walk the journey of a believer as an athlete prepares and plays the game of choice.
How many have we seen that were invited to the table of our Lord and due to the disappointments religion had promised; or the pain of their past that haunted them; or due to the lack of discipline, or those who found other outlets; or listening to weak people; or a myriad of other reasons, failed and have lost the battle of the Kingdom of God. People who have allowed one situation or person to ‘knock them out’. How many have became bitter?
“A”, our prayers of gratitude for what you have learn are lifted, along with the prayer that you will find that same tenacity in every area of your life, career, husband, Dad (yes it will happen at some point), but most of all, may that tenacity prevail in your pursuit of your Kingdom transcendent cause!
Your Papa and Magga are extremely proud of you and love you much!
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