Wednesday, March 16, 2005

CHILLY START. I drove Sam to the Northwest side of Indianapolis for his first outdoor soccer practice of the spring season. Temperatures sank along with the sun in the western sky. I couldn't convince him that he needed a heavy sweatshirt, but he did take me up on my offer of a wool cap and gloves. He joined a group of 12-year olds who will play for the Pike Soccer Club's elite "Indy Burn" program. It is a new team for him, though he has played with three of the players on a previous Arsenal Soccer Club team.

TIME AND REWARDS. I met and chatted with parents in the parking lot of Northwestway Park until cold drove me into the Beetle. How many years have we been taking one or another of our children to soccer practices? In all, it's been a pleasant experience. We've watched our kids develop individual confidence, learn team play, emerge as leaders, and demonstrate fortitude in the face of tough circumstances. Most coaches have been reasonable and most parents have been friendly...even if a few odd ones have been mercilessly lampooned by our kids.

BIKE, BUT NO RIDE. I brought my Cannondale to ride during Sam's practice. That's something I typically do while he works on soccer. It just seems fair and right for me to use the hour to put in a little exercise myself. But today's cold--along with the paperwork I had to complete and getting to know these parents--seemed enough to disperse my original intentions.

HUNDREDS OF SUNSETS. Did I mention sunsets? I am watching one right now. Evening soccer practices afford the natural pleasure of watching the sun turn bright orange and sink into the western horizon, often reflecting a thousand hues onto any clouds that happen to be nearby. I have experienced the joy of hundreds of sunsets while waiting for soccer practices to conclude. Look up! What do you see of God's grace amid your routine of work and care?

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