Saturday, December 19, 2009

Praying with the Team

This year I've taken on a new duty at the high school where I teach: chaplain of the girls' basketball team. I was nervous about it when I started, because frankly, I didn't know anything about the game and I didn't really know any of the usual attitudes or rituals that go with it, save standing for the national anthem. The coach's request was simply that I pray with the team in the locker room before and after games, and sit on the bench with them. If someone would get hurt, I could help tend to them. How hard could it be? I looked forward to getting a chance to see some of my kids in a different context.

Thus far, it's been good. It can be hard to know what to say to God with them sometimes, especially when the team's just lost and the coach has totally reamed them about it. Other times, after a well-earned win, it's easy to give voice to thanks and praise. More and more I am aware of how we bring EVERYTHING to God: our hopes, our failures, our attempts, our joy, our thanks. We come to God as we are. God sees us and knows us better than we know ourselves. What a wonderful thing.

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