Worldly Lessons Can Hurt!
Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
As a mother, I am frustrated. The boy who punched my son in the face at hockey will be finished his suspension this Sunday, while my son still has to wait another week and a half based on the hockey schedule. I received this news last night. As well, because my son is suspended, he is not allowed to referee until his suspension is finished — sigh. Then today, I found out that even though only league scheduled games count for suspension, he is still not allowed to play in any exhibition game either. So because ONE child made a bad decision, my young hockey player son has lost out on an entire month of hockey. He has lost out on the one activity that he really loves … and I am the one who has to tell him. Where is the fairness?
The league states that their decision cannot be appealed because it’s only a minimum suspension. The league decides who referees our games. In this case, it was kids who only had minimal refereeing experience. These referees decided the penalty. The coaches allowed the bad behaviour to continue for almost the whole game. This boy decided early in the game that he was going after one kid on our team — as big as he was — and neither my son, his coaches or even I as a mother can argue the point. In other words, we have zero say. We can do nothing but sit on the sidelines and let other people tell us what my son is allowed to do.
So, even though I can do nothing in my own son’s situation, I can write what is in my heart. To parents — teach your kids that every decision that they make in life has an effect on someone else. Teach them that even though it might seem funny at the time, EACH AND EVERY DECISION THEY MAKE HAS CONSEQUENCES. For example, that one punch — that one totally undeserved punch — has changed my son’s entire outlook on a sport he dearly loves. The subsequent decisions made by the league have affected his confidence, his faith in doing the right thing, his ability to feel like he has a place on his team (because cheering his fellow players on from the stands will never be the same). In the beginning of the season, he was excited. I notice now that after this experience, the light in his eyes is a lot dimmer now than it was a month ago.
Overall, I know my son will be a better hockey player because of this experience — a more careful player — and a much better citizen. He is learning lessons about fairness and equity that will be valuable to him in the years to come. He now knows firsthand that the world in which he lives is not always fair — that there will be times when decisions made will impact people negatively.
This is not to suggest that I, as a mother am not frustrated. When we teach our children to do the “right” thing, we don’t expect them to be put in a situation that clearly teaches the contrary. We don’t anticipate negative repercussions that are void of any common sense, accountability and appeal processes. We fully expect that the social fabric in which we live subscribes to similar morals and values as we do. But as I have discovered from this decision, when a community fails to stand by its stated mission, society and our world as we know it, becomes the lesser for it.
Thankfully, my son will not be lost in the hockey league’s mistaken message for he knows in whom he has hope.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me … when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
And me? I have learned that even in these seemingly turbulent times of tribulation, the Lord can give peace and purpose to each and every one of us so that we — because of His sacrifice on the cross — can become world changers even in the midst of storms.