It’s been an impressive past 12 months in sports. Even if you are not much of a sports fan, you have to agree the come back victories across the major sports have been stunning.
Let’s recap it real quick:
Down three games to one in the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers were heading home down, dejected, and out of gas. Or so everyone thought. After some soul searching, recommitment, and game plan changes, the Cavs pulled off a three game win streak and won the championship.
The Chicago Cubs found themselves in a similar hole after four games. The Cleveland Indians, hoping to bring yet another world championship to Cuyahoga County, had a strangle hold on the trophy. It’s very, very rare for a team to come back from a 3-1 hole. Yet, with consistent effort and belief, the Cubs found a way and brought the trophy home.
Most recently, the New England Patriots completed the most improbable, incredible, and unforgettable comeback in the history of football. No team had come back to win a Super Bowl after being down 11 points or more. The Patriots were down 25 with just over 21 minutes remaining in the game. And yet, with laser focus, consistent belief from their leaders, and a little luck, the Patriots hosted the trophy.
In each case, things looked impossible just before the change. In each case, the team looking down and out kept working and believing. In each case, a little luck was needed. However, each team was prepared to take that little luck, that little opening, and make the most of it.
Sometimes, when I look at my boys, I think I’m failing in raising them to become the men God wants them to be – faithful, humble, helpful, fierce, loving, sacrificial, communicative, and steadfast.
But if this year has taught me one thing, it’s that you can come back. If there is time left on the clock and you make the effort, a win is still possible. Sure, it’ll be difficult – nothing worthwhile is easy. Sure, a little luck will be necessary – but the more you practice, the luckier you get.
This line of thought reminded me of a few lines from GK Chesterton:
There is one metaphor of which the moderns are very fond; they are always saying, "You can't put the clock back." The simple and obvious answer is "You can." A clock, being a piece of human construction, can be restored by the human finger to any figure or hour. In the same way society, being a piece of human construction, can be reconstructed upon any plan that has ever existed.
There is another proverb, "As you have made your bed, so you must lie on it"; which again is simply a lie. If I have made my bed uncomfortable, please God I will make it again.
In raising our boys to be young men, we make (a lot of) mistakes along the way. We let some things slide that we shouldn’t. We fail to have an important conversation. We don’t listen and lecture instead. After a while, when we think all is lost, we raise our hands up in frustration and say, ‘Well, I can’t do it any differently now….”
However, we know that’s not true. As the Cavs, Cubs, and Pats taught us this year, and as GK reminds us, there is enough time for a comeback if you are willing.
If you want to help make a change in your son, take some time, reach out for some support, and then give it your absolute best shot. It may not work and you may fall short. But, if you don’t try, you’ll never know what could happen.
God wants our best effort in mind, body and soul - not our perfection. So give it to Him - and your son.
Have a great week.