This post is from contributor Stephanie Sears
I watched him as he kicked the ball into the goal with such a beaming pride that I knew he was in his element. His little preschooler shin guards and soccer outfit made him look much older than barely two. He had been playing soccer at home since he could walk at 9 months. This was what he wanted.
As practice ended he bounded towards me with the enthusiasm of a young boy. He was exhausted, but he looked happy and proud. We gathered his belongings and headed to the car. As I strapped him in, his words nearly took away my breath.
“I don’t like soccer.”
Unsure of what I had heard, I gave him a moment and asked for an explanation. “I just want to kick the ball. Not play games.”
At that moment I knew what he was feeling. He didn’t like the drills and games. He just wanted to play soccer. He wanted to get to the main activity without the effort that goes into it.
He had gotten the worst part of my personality: my complete lack of patience.
It was in that moment I realized how much of our personalities show up in our young children. Whether it is through nature or nurture I’m not sure, but there in my little preschooler I saw myself in that moment.
In the same way, God knows us. We each have the ability to love as He loved and give grace as He gives us grace. How often have we humbled ourselves to that idea? We are made in God’s image just as our children are made in ours.
Just as we shape and form our children, God is forming us. He gives us as many chances as we need to brush ourselves off as we stumble. He doesn’t turn us away after we offend Him repeatedly. No, He grabs us and forgives us.
As I heard myself in my son’s words I remembered that. I remembered that God has given my son and I this impatient personality, but then I remembered He also has given us laughter and an ability to find beautiful things in the imperfect.
I remembered God perfectly made us as imperfect as we are.
(And, yes, he is still playing soccer.)