Last night, we lost again and our season came to a crushing end. In shades of the single most heartbreaking moment in sports history, when the New England Patriots went 18-0 before losing to the hated New York Giants, we didn’t lose all year and then dropped the first 2 in the playoffs.
The team that eliminated us was a nice group of boys from ELCO (who we beat twice during the regular season.) Sigh.
I’ve been sitting here, looking at this screen for quite a while, and I guess I don’t have much to say. Last night, after the game, I said all I could through choked emotion, to our boys, “I will miss you.”
(If you’ve ever read any of these posts, listened to a message, or talked to me for longer than 2 minutes, past my uncomfortable attempts at small talk, you know exactly what I’m going to say. You could write it yourself. Nevertheless, here we go.)
I’m sad it’s over.
But as I am reflecting on these days and months, each of the games, the boys, the coaches, the high fives and handshakes, the smiles, the challenges, the bruises, the cold, the heat, the lessons learned (for me as well as for them), the parents, the effort, all of us different people now than when we began… As I reflect on this, I can absolutely say I was there.
I was there, for all of it.
Sometimes, I didn’t feel like going. Maybe I didn’t feel good, or was tired, or annoyed, or whatever. But when I got to the field, I gave everything I had – which was me. I opened my heart and soul, kept my eyes open, thought of nothing else, was fully present. And how often can you really say that?
I think a life lived well is one where we are where we are, with our eyes and hands and arms and hearts wide open. Where we never have to wake up and say, (as Jacob did, in Genesis 28:16) “Surely God was in this place and I was not aware.” I was aware, and as sad as I may be right now, I sure didn’t miss it.
Sometimes, things end and we look back, saying, I wish I had taken the time, been less distracted, said that thing, listened more, held her hand longer. Those are emotions and regrets I have known and mourned. But not this time. I was there.
This is a different wave of emotions, and I can now realize what a blessing, what a celebration, our being here (truly being here, now) is.
I love them all, it was very good, and I will miss them.