I've been a league representative or officer of a local "little league" or junior tackle football program in Greater Rockford for a decade.
There are 12 organizations with at least three teams in each one.
In other words, considering all of the players, parents, fans, coaches, officials/referees, boards, sponsors, and onlookers, there are lots of relational headaches.
I do it because I love the game, love the highest intentions of our league, and even love the raw and rowdy aforementioned who often crowd my calendar and make my life so occasionally miserable.
It's part of my beruf.
You can ask folks if I've got the charismata for it.
Like folks in the church, some will say yes with enthusiasm and others will say no with sometimes even greater enthusiasm.
Regularly, I'm asked by the naive, "Why do you put up with so much ___? You don't get paid enough for all of the time and effort that you've invested? With so many who think they know so much about everything, you must be second-guessed all the time. How do you do it?"
First, I don't get paid; except when I hit up the concessions during games and get freebies.
Come to think of it, there's only one organization that doesn't feed me at halftime; but who would expect the one closest to me to...? It must be kinda like that a-prophet-is-without-honor in...
Second, I'm a pastor and vestmented one in a mainline denomination; which means I'm already used to abuse and know how to navigate in/through/around/over/under it.
The joy comes when folks get it.
If I have to explain that to you, you don't; which means I'll just blow you off like I...
There's very little dust on my shoes anymore.
I get invited to a lot of annual banquets; and make one or two a year because, while some folks don't get it, there are only so many hours in...
When I go, I say something like this (basic outline):
Thanks for inviting me to your banquet. I have appreciated...
I've been a league representative or officer in our league for a
decade; and I want you to know all of our league representatives
are committed to the highest values of Rock Valley [Junior] Tackle
Football. I affirm, appreciate, and have profound affection for
them along with our boards, officials/referees, coaches, sponsors,
players, fans, and parents; except, of course, for those who think
every call goes against them or little Johnny better carry the
ball more than last game or his scholarship to Notre Dame
is going down the toilet. Parenthetically, don't worry about
Notre Dame! Now that they can't beat the service academies
anymore, they're gonna schedule Rock Valley Junior College
to insure a shot at the national title!
Lots of new junior tackle football leagues keep popping up;
and I think that's good because not everyone can compete
in our league.
I've also noticed that not everyone couples competitive
excellence without sacrificing a passion for character
development within a context of socioeconomic
Truth is some leagues have started because they need
to play with themselves in order to win trophies and
avoid the opportunities of contributing to national
harmony by bringing all kinds of cultures, classes,
and colors together; or as some of my brothers say,
"It's good to have leagues for slow..."
That's not to say that we haven't messed up every
now and then. We have and thank you for how you
keep reminding us.
Well, again, I want to thank you for inviting me and
feeding me and trusting us to make sure your boy
has every opportunity to get that scholarship to
Notre Dame; and if that doesn't happen, we're
hoping and laboring and even praying he will
always love this game and love this country and
take the best of what we can offer into his future.
God bless you!
Yeah, something like that.
I had a mentor who once said, "You cannot separate Jesus from any part of your life and claim discipleship."
While I don't proselytize when I'm exercising beruf outside of liturgy and other ecclesiastical trappings, I evangelize.
If I have to explain the difference to you...
Blessings and Love!
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