When It All Means Something
Today (as usual for Sunday afternoons) I played soccer. One of the guys came by in street clothes. A couple of us started to jab him: where's your gear? You're too young to retire! But he wasn't up for his usual game.
Turns out his wife just died, but he wanted to come out and tell us when the memorial service would be and also to say "Bye" to me, as this was my last Sunday to play before moving.
As we all gathered around to hear the sad news, I felt like we needed to support him, not just with kind words, but with prayer, so I asked him if it would be OK for us to pray for him. He agreed, so we gathered around, put (sweaty) arms around each other, and prayed for our friend.
When I played high school soccer and club soccer in college and even on various indoor and outdoor teams, there were always games that "meant something" - meaning that this game was somehow more important than others. Perhaps we were playing against our big rival, or a team had beaten us badly last year and we had something to prove. Or maybe it was a big game, like a championship. Those games "meant something."
These games I've been playing are for fun. Nobody remembers who wins, or even who scores the last goal (except that I did today - mostly because it was determined that once I scored again, that would be the final goal). But today I was reminded that these games mean something. They mean friendship and brotherhood, and they mean having a group of guys who care enough to pray with you through a tough time.