Friday, March 22, 2013

Nice To Meet You... Oh... We've Met Before?

Between our two sons, we've seen a LOT of sports and teams.  We started with Tumblebees (toddler tumbling), to T-ball, then baseball, followed by basketball, flag football, tackle football, karate, and tennis lessons.  I'm probably missing something too!  And that means we meet a LOT of kids and a LOT of parents that go with them.  And, that doesn't even count all of the different classes and teams of classes we've had so far.  It's too hard to keep everybody straight!

So, I had to create a policy when it comes to learning everyone's names.  It may not be the best policy, but it was to preserve my own sanity.  Don't judge... but here it is:

Until we have TWO points of connection, I don't have to learn your name.
Our kids do not have to play.  You do not have to invite us to your kids' birthday parties; we won't be inviting you to ours.  Until we have two points of connection, I'm going to assume that quite possibly, after this sports season, we may never cross paths again.  And to learn everyone's name, kids & parents, across all of these sports and classrooms and teams is just more than my brain can handle.

It sounds harsh, I know.  But it works for me... most of the time, anyway.  There was the football season... where I was sure that Jack would only play one year.  I mean we lost EVERY game... by a lot.  There were practices 5 days a week for leading up to a two-hour game in the rain, cold, and sleet where we would lose... every time.  Surely Jack would realize that this was an awful lot of work for very little payout?  So I didn't learn any parents' names.  I knew a few before football - so I had people to sit with.  I laughed and talked and joked with everyone, I just address anyone by name.

And Jack decided to play the next year.

D'OH!  Second season rolls around and I have to pretend I know everyone while secretly learning all the names I didn't learn the year before!  Oops.

But overall, this has been a good policy.  When my kids want to have a birthday party, they must adhere by the 2 POINTS Rule.  The kid they want to invite must have two connections:  school & church, school & sports, sports & another sport/season, church & neighbor... Two of anything will work.  And if they want to a kid's party, we need to have two points of connection with them.  We've had very few exceptions, and this had made our life much easier.

But while this works for my social life and that of my kids, imagine how sad if it would be if God adhered to this policy?  What if God said, "Until you find two points of connection with Me, I don't have to learn your name... or help you... or know you?"  How lonely and frustrating that would be!  Fortunately God knew us before we were even born:

“Before I shaped you in the womb,
    I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
    I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—
    that’s what I had in mind for you.”

Jeremiah 1:5 (Msg)

God knitted us stitch by stitch, cell by cell, molecule by molecule before we even saw our first day of light.  He doesn't wait until we find Him (twice!); He has met us and loves us - despite all of our flaws, shortcomings, and sin.

I'm thankful that my God is bigger than anything I can imagine.  And thankful that with Him, I don't have to pretend.

As for you, obscure parent I've seen before, somewhere... have we met?  My name is Maggie.

:) Mags

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