I pissed in his Cheerio’s and didn’t know it.
Giving up the right to be right sucks sometimes for guys like me. Maybe you can relate too.
Something happened this week and I really heard the Lord speak to my heart to stand down and that He would fight my fight for me. Dang… I love a good fight to justify myself and prove that I am in the right and that the other person or situation is in the wrong.
My mentality is tweaked a certain way… I wrestled in college and still coach high school wrestling. I love getting on the mat and going head to head and pounding my opponents face into the mat. Just being real.
My personal coach that took me to Mexico City for a big International tourney when I was a young man is still in my life today as a mentor… he always tells people what my name stands for… Pain, Agony, and Torture… PAT. My pride and ego would always have the mindset that if you step on the mat with me to go head to head… you are going to feel three things… Pain, Agony, and Torture. I might feel it too… but I will make sure you are going to pay to get on the mat with me. As a competitor… this attitude can be a great thing… however, it is not always the best approach in other areas of life.
When I take my position to be right and move forward in my pride, ego, flesh and just being plain stubborn taking matters into my own hands… deep down inside… I know that this is the wrong approach. This doesn’t honor God.
Now that I am older, I am getting much better at this. I can’t believe I said that… now that I am older. UGH… When I was younger, I could not ever, ever, ever give up the right to be right. I would say it is a principle thing. Demanding to be right cost me sometimes too. Today it is much easier to let go and give up the right to be right.
I will share with you what happened this week but before I do… let me share what God was showing me.
I was with my 25-year-old son and I really was taken aback by his reaction to me sharing my story of what happened. Elisha my son began to go full tilt and wanted to go after the people that were causing me this little meaningless mess. I had to put the hammer down with my son as he wanted to go to Bay News 9, Real News Real Fast, social media outlets and to go and confront the person.
Many of you know that I still coach and play on a men’s competitive soccer team… okay… it is a beer league. I love the exercise and fun of the sport and keeping in good shape too.
With that said, here is what happened.
I rent the field each Wednesday evening and I coordinate the scrimmage practices for the men’s teams. The league also rents the same fields from the county parks and rec division.
This past week the county did some maintenance to the fields and laid down a top coat of sand and grass seed.
My contact at parks and rec, Brad, gave me a “thumbs up” to rent the field and said we wouldn’t hurt the new top coat at all.
Little did I know, but the league canceled the children’s practice for the night and my group of guys shows up.
There were a couple of board members from the league having a meeting up at the field office that evening and one of their guys mentioned to me that the fields were closed for the evening of which I replied… “Oh… no sir… not for us. I met with parks and rec today and have rented one of the fields for the night” and thanked him for his concern.
The league for years told us that they owned the fields and would not allow anyone to use them even to the point of chasing off fathers kicking the ball around with their children during the day.
Problem is, this guy Phil the one who heads up the league has been getting away with it for years until about 4 years ago I decided to find out who truly owns the park and how can the public like me use it. FYI… it is a public county park paid for by county taxes. Phil and the league do not own the park. They rent it just like me but on a much bigger scale.
Well… Wednesday night I pissed in the leagues Cheerio’s, specifically Phil’s and didn’t realize it.
These board members called up Phil of which he contacted Brad from parks and rec to complain that “it’s not fair” that they have rented to me for the night and the league was told to cancel practice and not to allow 500 munchkins running all over the new top coated fields.
FYI… I usually have less than 20 peeps to show up for Wednesday night’s kick around.
What a bunch of babies. I hate drama and mess.
About 20 minutes later into our practice and just getting a good sweat on… my county parks and rec guy Brad shows up and politely asks me to shut down the practice and move over to the softball diamond area and finish our scrimmage there because the league called and complained that it wasn’t fair and that the county forgot to call up the league to let them know that the field maintenance had been completed earlier that afternoon.
We complied right away to keep everyone happy and moved our practice across the parking lot to the baseball/softball fields.
We finished practice and had a good fun time exercising and then later that evening I get a text from the league president via Phil, informing me that my behavior of renting the field was unacceptable to the vision of the league and therefore I was immediately banned for life from the men’s league and anything to do with the league altogether.
I thought to myself as I was sitting in my Jacuzzi stretching out some sore muscles… “You have got to be kidding me”?
I forwarded the text to my county contact Brad and asked him to let the league know that I have legitimately rented the field.
Bottom line is… Brad straightened it out with Phil and the league and I am no longer banned.
This took a few days for them to sort out… but in the meantime, I really got pissed off and wanted to front Phil and the league’s board members but felt like God speak to my heart to take the high road and trust Him that this little mess would work out and to give up the right to be right.
I did get a phone call from a league board member on Saturday afternoon with a half-hearted apology. He said they have agreed to waive my lifetime ban with a request if I would “volunteer” to sit out the next game on Sunday to make it look good to the board. To make it look good to the board??? Really… I didn’t do anything wrong here.
You have got to be kidding me again…
I heard the Lord speak to my heart to bite my tongue and stand down. I wanted to drive up to the field, confront Phil, give him a beat down, hold him down on the field and choke his A$$ out and then break his toes so wouldn’t be able to kick a soccer ball around for the next 12 months without feeling “Pain” and being reminded of me. Of course… of course, I didn’t do that.
All of this drama and mess over a freaking men’s group kick around soccer practice/scrimmage.
I hung up the phone and asked the Lord… what’s going on here and then I realize this was about my 25-year-old son watching how my reactions were. My son watching me respond to the league officials and not blowing up at them and calling them a bunch of babies and some other well deserved unmentionable words.
It was about my son watching me bite my tongue and smile when the league board member asked me to “volunteer” to sit out Sunday’s game. It was not only about my son watching… it was about some of my team members watching as well when they heard that I was “volunteering” to sit out for the game and having to hold them back from heading over to have a private word with Phil because they were pissed off.
I gave up the right to be right. It didn’t kill me either.
Something else happened as well.
God showed out for me.
Sunday night’s game happened to be against Phil’s team and two of this board members. Phil, Andy and Word Vomit John and I get to volunteer to sit out for the game. Hey Phil… what is fair about this?
We have never beat Phil’s team in the past 8 years of games. Phil always stacks his team with the best players/ringers. Mind you… it is supposed to be a “Beer League”.
We had an early game and three of my young guys… my strikers could not make the game that early. Norvey from Ecuador. Malcolm from Senegal and Poochie from Jamaica. It would be a miracle to beat Phil’s team without these 3 young strikers.
I stood in my jeans and a sweatshirt on the sidelines in front of the bench with my clipboard in hand… making roster line up adjustments and asking the ref for another 5 more minutes so I could have enough guys on the field and not play a man down. It worked… another team member arrived and we began the game.
But God again!
We scored the first goal and my guys were really playing well.
At halftime, we are up 3-1.
And then Phil has his “ringer” Omar to show up at halftime.
20 minutes later we are tied up at 3-3. The Omar effect.
I pulled my big Norwegian center defender Jantzen over and told him to mark Omar and shut him down. Jantzen got a big smile on his face.
And then it happened… the Jantzen effect and Charlo my other striker from Cameroon that does bicycle kicks getting a breakaway and finds the back of the net and Phil’s team begins to give up.
But God again!
Charlo’s goal puts us up 4-3.
I pull my Irish guy Kevin from up front to come back on defense and not let anyone get by him and just run the clock out.
Guess what… we scored one more time and won 5-3.
The board members came over and shook my hand and apologized for the “confusion”. I bit my tongue again and gave up the right to be right and just replied with the words “Good Game”.
My son had a chance to see God work something out for his father without me taking matters into my own hands. That was a good thing as my son is struggling right now with trying to make things work in his own power and needed to see how God can work things out on our behalf when we get out of the way so God can get the credit.
My team members got a chance to see me stand down and put it into Gods hands as well and they pulled off a win without our three top guys and me.
When you allow God to show up even in the smallest or meaningless of things that really matter in life and even with things like a men’s soccer practice… you also give Him the opportunity to show out for you as well. Giving up the right to be right isn’t easy for guys like me… maybe you too.
You never know who is watching your actions and I am sure if you look around, I bet there is a bigger reason at hand.