My kids are athletes. They love sports. Mostly soccer but they’ve played other sports as well. There are seasons when one of them is riding the bench for one reason or another. This is hard to watch. I find myself getting mad at the coach for not seeing my wonderful child’s potential. “They would have won that game if my precious child was on the field.” I know this is first of all, not the end the world, but it is also a huge growing experience that I need to encourage. You train and practice and do all the prep work to be in the game and then you sit and watch others play the game. You want to be part of the action but instead you have a front row seat to it. There are many reasons to be stuck on the bench for a season. It might be because you are not giving everything you have in practice. You might have a bad attitude. You might be the youngest on the team and older players are finally getting to play because they sat on the bench last season. Or, it could be a reason we will never know.
I find that when trying to encourage my child during this “bench sitting” season, they are often the one encouraging me. I tell them I’m sorry they didn’t get in yet another game and they say, “it’s okay, Mom. It’s no big deal.” I’m so proud of their attitude because mine stinks. I see the potential and then the hurt and it’s frustrating because there is literally nothing I can do to solve it and make it better. Nothing. It’s out of my hands. I will not let them quit in the middle of a season so we will see it through together but it’s hard to watch. I don’t want them discouraged to try things in life. Most likely, there are things that my child is learning while sitting on the bench. Is this time of waiting to get in the game lighting a fire to work extra hard so it doesn’t happen next season? Is it happening so they will be inspired to try something else they have an interest in? Or, are they supposed to be a friend and encouragement to someone else on the bench that season? Are they possibly learning more on the bench then they would learn in the game at this time? And, yes, I probably read too much into this lesson in life but you want the best for kids….I just have to realize that maybe this season on the bench is what is best for my child.
Psalm 31:24: “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”