And, behold, it is because that you did not continue as you commenced … that I have taken away this privilege from you.
Our youngest daughter loves soccer. This is her second season and her teammates are all older than she is, with a few of them as much as two years older! All of them have played several years, to her less than a year of playing the game. Three of the girls, including the coach’s daughter, have even played on our league’s competitive travel team.
To say that my daughter’s inexperience is obvious when she plays would be an understatement. But that doesn’t dampen her enthusiasm for the game one whit! She is all in.
If she is on the sideline, she is the coach’s echo—yelling out calls to her teammates moments after the coach has yelled them. If she is on the field, she is on high alert, constantly watching the ball.
This last Saturday was a hot, humid day. The coach had our daughter playing goalie, with his daughter playing the ‘sweeper’ position directly in front of her. As the coach yelled instructions to his daughter, it was clear that she was done in by the heat and just wanted to sit out.
In frustration, the coach pulled her out of the game and moved our daughter to play her slot. Our daughter’s inexperience caused her to make mistakes, but she played with passion the entire game—even when most of her teammates were dropping like flies due to the oppressive heat. (One teammate even threw up because of over-heating!)
Following the game, the coach took us aside to express his appreciation. “Your daughter always wants to play and obeys everything I ask her to do. She might not always get it right, but she gives her everything!”
My daughter reminds me of the apostle Peter. Peter loved the Lord with everything. You want me to walk on water to you, Lord? Sure thing. True, he faltered. BUT, Peter walked on water. Think about it. His faith and trust in the Savior allowed Peter to walk on freaking water! None of the other apostles in the boat did that.
Following the Savior’s crucifixion, the apostles returned to old habits and went fishing. As soon as he recognized his beloved Lord walking on the shore, the boat couldn’t move fast enough.
Peter threw himself into the water to get to the Lord faster. Peter, like my daughter, is all in. Maybe his inexperience sometimes surfaced, but he gave the Lord his absolute everything, even giving his life.
Continuing this soccer analogy, my mind turns to the coach’s daughter, who had the same opportunities to play, yet quit.
Judas Iscariot started as an apostle and ended a traitor to our beloved Lord and Savior. At some point in his life, he quit and was sidelined.
My husband has a phrase that he uses often when counseling with our children, “Life turns on a dime.” Meaning that each small decision we make can have long-lasting effects. Just as a door turns on a small hinge, so our life can be turned in one direction, or another, based upon the small decisions we make.
Every day we decided whether we will falter or will we finish. We ask ourselves, “Am I still in?”
Am I still going to be loyal to the covenants I have made when I doubt? Am I still going to uphold my end of the promises I have made to the Lord? God will not drop His end of the bargain. So, will I keep my promises to Him?
The Lord, like our daughter’s coach, doesn’t ask us to play perfectly. He just asks us to listen to His voice and obey His commands. He will take care of who plays what positions and how the game is handled. He just asks us to stay in the game.
Brethren [and sisters], shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of more than 20 years.