Life isn’t made up of one big event that defines us, but rather small moments that collect in our heart and mind as we go through life. I had the opportunity to witness one of those moments play out in the life of our son, Micah a few weeks ago.
In June 2009, we were given an opportunity go back into ministry after a four year journey of restoration. We were living in Indianapolis and my role as campus pastor at Cross Point would require a move to Nashville. As parents, Trisha and I had been praying about the possibility of holding Micah back and having him repeat 7th grade. He was fine academically, but he was the youngest kid in his class, and our concern was that as he went through middle school and high school, his emotional and academic potential might not be realized at the same pace as his classmates. And selfishly, we loved the idea of having one more year with him. When we were presented with the opportunity to move, it made that decision much easier. New school. New start. New friends. So in August of 2009, Micah began his 7th grade year, again.
A few weeks ago, the athletic director at Micah’s high school approached me with a concerned look on his face. Micah had been getting up at 5AM all summer to go workout and I was his designated driver and rebounder. The AD asked me if we’d held Micah back in 2009. I told him that we had. He said we have a problem. The state of Tennessee has a rule that kids that are held back after 7th grade are ineligible to play their freshman year. I talked about our process and that we were from out of state and that Indiana doesn’t have that rule. He said, “We’ll appeal and see what they say.”
Two weeks ago, Trisha and I showed up at the end of practice to meet with Micah and his coach. The ruling came back and Micah was determined to be ineligible to play basketball at any level for 2011-2012. We sat in his coach’s office and all three of us cried as we tried to explain it to him. He was devastated. All the hard work. All the camps. All the early mornings. He can’t play. Not because he did anything wrong…because we made a decision for him.
Over the past two weeks I’ve seen that moment make my son into more of the man God longs for him to be. He goes to practice. He works hard. He encourages his teammates. He isn’t resentful. Today he offered to keep stats for the year for his team so he can have a role and still feel a part of the team. Micah’s team is ranked in the top 3 in the state of Tennessee, and he won’t be able to play at all…yet he is allowing this moment to make him. Micah got to play in 5 pre-season scrimmage games this past week…and now his season is over. Here is a pic from one of his “games.”
One of the things we’ve decided is that the state of Tennessee will not define our son. They can keep him from playing, but they can’t define him.
There is a moment in your life too, I’m sure. There is news you weren’t expecting. There is a bill you hadn’t planned on. There is a situation at work that has caught you off guard. There is a diagnosis you didn’t deserve, but you still have to deal with. There is a moment that has the potential to break you, if you will let it. Can I encourage you today…allow that moment to make you. Allow God to use that moment of despair; of pain; of hurt; of disappointment; of regret; of fear; of uncertainty to make you into the man or woman God longs for you to be.
I’ve seen God do huge things in my son over the last two weeks and I know He’ll do the same for you. It won’t be easy or fair, but it will be true.