Follow that Ball
Their small cleats plod along the beautifully green, grassy field as clumps of dirt and grass are sprayed beneath their footsteps. They run as fast as they can, tripping over other feet, across dips in the field, and even over the ball. Flashes of bright gold and dark purple run past us, all in a herd. They are eagerly following that soccer ball. When their feet touch the ball, my daughters look over at us with their white teeth showing underneath their large smiles, and they check to make sure we have seen. They are proud. And when the ball moves in another direction, they quickly stop and turn to follow that ball. Their dark brown curls fly into their face, but they are not deterred. Their own teammates might get in their way, but they keep their eyes on the ball. Even when they get exhausted after long spurts of running, they do not stop their chase. There is the occasional player who is easily distracted by other things. They might yell “I love you’s” to their parents in the middle of the game, or some might even slip in an out-of-place cartwheel. (My sister will remain name-less). But the majority of the players stay focused on their goal…following that ball. Even though we would like them to, they don’t worry about things so insignificant as positions or titles. Who needs defense when you can score a goal? Soccer for young players has often been called “Amoeba Ball.” Crowds of children cluster together because they are so passionate about their ultimate goal of following that ball. I envision the disciples being this dedicated about following our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As Jesus passed them by, men who ranged from tax collectors to fisher men, He called out to them, “Follow me.” And each of them did. I can picture Andrew and Simon Peter sitting along the sandy shore, mending their nets. Their hands and clothes constantly smelled of fish. Matthew, the tax collector, sat at his booth despised by all who passed him by, except the One who mattered. Jesus said to them all, “Follow me.” They left their occupations, either respected or deplored, and they followed Jesus. They walked by His side and ministered to crowds of people who begged for His presence. And it is through these examples of passionate following that I ask myself if I am as dedicated to following Christ. Do I keep my eyes on Him when there are so many distractions around me? Do I worry about those things such as positions or titles? Or am I like my daughters on the soccer field who fervently follow that ball even through exhaustion? It is my prayer that I will follow Christ the way that my kids follow that ball.