Ready and Waiting
Ready and Waiting

October 27, 2010 
It is bittersweet knowing that our college football days are coming to an end. There are five games left and a good possibility of a bowl game on Christmas Eve in Hawaii.  Three years ago we were wondering if this was just another stepping stone in Brent’s football career and if he would go on to play in the NFL.  Instead it has been a tumultuous journey, yet a valuable lesson in life learned. As his mother, I have run the gamut of emotions: joy, anger, grief, hopelessness, excitement and sadness. As I close this chapter in my life, I feel a sense of loss. Our lives have revolved around sports since each of our children competed in some way.  Both girls were involved in volleyball and softball.  The wins, losses, injuries, friendships, dinners, tournaments, banquets, trophies, jackets and rings are memories forever in our minds, if not still displayed on a shelf.  But this season ends with the profound words of an NFL scout forever etched in my mind. Let me explain.

When our son went to college we were able to read in the newspaper, the blogs or the university fan mail anything and everything he did. If he sneezed wrong we read about it. There were comments about the tattoo on his back. Remarks were made on the way he wore his hair, the technique of his throwing motion, the clothes he wore, the schools he had attended and his prior stats.  Everything he did was on display.  Football is a huge deal in Hawaii, and the locals know the players.   My sister and her husband went over on a trip, and she mentioned his name, and the people knew exactly who he was.  A couple of friends had the same experience.  Whenever we have gone to Hawaii, people ask why we are there whether an anniversary or vacation, and when we say we are there to see our son who plays football, they of course ask his name. Everyone knows of him.  I sometimes wonder what they know that maybe I do not!!!! But I will admit, I think ignorance is bliss!

 My experience with college football has been a roller coaster ride. We have experienced our ups and downs on the journey.  When I met the coach for the first time, I told him if he wanted my son on his team, I needed to have an apartment in Waikiki and a Lear jet at my disposal. Of course, we laughed and he told us all kinds of things that a parent wants to hear. But just like listening to a car salesman, their words promise, convolute, and confuse. Bottom line is that they lie to get what they want. Many times, promises were made and broken. It seems that people use deceptive words in an art form today.  My son was named the starter his first year, and has yet to start a game.

Just recently while returning from a game; an awesome lady on the airplane began a conversation with me.  Her husband, sitting across the aisle from her, is now a retired NFL scout. We all struck up a conversation and because of his knowledge, he knew all about the Hawaii team, the coach and my son. We can never be sure that anything we say or do is kept private! This scout knew things. But as we walked away, he spoke one simple truth of our son, “Ready and waiting.”  That comment came at such a perfect time for this Mama’s heart.  Brent has been ready and waiting for the last three years.

Contemplating those words, made me realize it is sometimes what life holds for us. We may have to wait for things, but the key is to be ready.  In his situation, at any given moment he may be called up.  He has to be ready. He has to have already been; viewing film, throwing the ball, working out, memorizing each play, and practicing.  In an instant, everything could change.  Someone once said that after high school football, it’s no longer fun.  College ball requires 11 months a year of involvement.  During season, it is six days a week, frequently from 6:00am to 11:00pm. And don’t forget to add school work in that mix.

 I don’t know about you, but sometimes life just gets to be too much. I have a tendency to want to throw in the towel. When I don’t see good results, I become discouraged and want to give up.  Our lives may not turn out the way we had planned, or bumps in the road have created some problems. Maybe we feel defeated and that things have not been fair. Can I just say, welcome to life! Nobody said it was going to be easy or fair.  But those profound words were like a jump start to my failing system.  I grabbed a piece of paper and began writing down the positive and negatives aspects of this football situation. The good things far outweighed the bad. For example, the good things were; Brent was able to play Division One football (you know how many kids want to do that?), he received a full ride scholarship, he lived in Hawaii, and learned to stand on his own two feet! He also traveled to Florida to play against Tim Tebow, saw downtown New York, played in the Seahawks stadium in Washington, and has been to 10 states and is leaving with a degree.  Did I mention that this was all for free? The major negative aspect has been the politics.

Viewing this experience with a new outlook, it appears things haven’t been so bad. Although our situation didn’t turn out the way we wanted or planned, was it a waste? Heavens no! We never know what the future holds, but we can make the future better if we are ready and waiting for it! Make no mistake, the order of the words was not waiting and then ready, it is ready and waiting. Do the work now to prepare for later. This has been a great lesson and eye opening. I am so grateful to have the experience because it brings my Christian walk into a whole new perspective…… Excuse me, while I go get ready………

Remind the people.….to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good…..Titus 3:1-3