Rushing the Field

Friday Night Lights

Have you ever witnessed a young child do something adorably naughty? It may have brought a smile to others observing or even a full on belly laugh, but I can assure you the parent of the misbehaving child will initially have a different reaction. My youngest, Charlotte (Lola), learned from a very young age that she can bring joy to others. Our family has been through more than our fair share of tragedy and, even as a baby, I think Charlotte knew that she possessed an ability to comfort others by sharing her joy, giving a hug or making someone laugh, even if it means toeing a line she knows not to cross.

I most recently experienced this adorable naughtiness at a varsity high school football game. Charlotte has appointed herself one of the cheerleaders and before kickoff likes to greet the crowd on the bleachers with a loud, “thank you so much for coming, everyone.” Her big sister, Margot, is doing junior cheer this year and Charlotte has quickly picked up all the routines. They are both blessed to to have a precious high school squad that loves on all the little ones and serve as Christ-centered role models.

During Friday night’s game, Charlotte had the privilege of going down on the track with the varsity cheerleaders. She couldn’t have been more excited. Never one to shy away from an audience, my four year old was all smiles when she was lifted up to wave her pom poms in front of the entire home crowd. Charlotte was basking in the attention and then, right at the beginning of the third quarter, she made a run for it. As the teams moved down to the east end zone, a tiny cheerleader ran to the west. The cheer coach went racing after her in wedged heels and I let a curse slip out of my mouth as I sprang from my seat in the bleachers and quickly made my way down. She was caught and scooped up just as she stepped foot onto the field around the 10 yard line as the game played on.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

Hebrews 12:1-2a

I heard from several people after the fact how funny this incident was. However, as the mother of the little runaway, I was mortified and had all the “what-if” scenarios running through my head the rest of the night as I thanked God that the game action was happening on the other end of the field. The next day as the girls and I watched the end of the TCU vs OSU game together, I talked to them about how much their daddy loved college football, especially his alma mater. As we celebrated a TCU win in our living room, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself as I saw the footage of everyone rushing the field of Amon Carter Stadium. I was brought back to post game celebrations on that same field with Taylor. The thought of breaking rules gives me stomach ulcers, but Taylor could always talk me into jumping a fence in the name of a horned frog victory. I had to laugh as I thought to myself, “I guess Lola comes by her field rushing honestly.

There are passages in the Bible that refer to life as a race. One of the biggest challenges in our earthly race is ensuring that we and our fellow runners can see the finish line clearly. We will certainly experience fatigue and hit the wall from time to time, but scripture has given us plenty of motivation to keep on going. In Hebrews we are reminded of our faithful predecessors like Enoch, Noah and Abraham, who stayed the course and finished strong. When Christ died for all of us, he freed us of our sins and lightened our loads immensely. This freedom allows us to run as carefree as a child or enthusiastic fan rushing the field at the end of a football game. Almost three years ago I lost my running partner. Taylor completed his race and is celebrating in the eternal winner’s circle. Knowing what awaits the Christian when we cross our earthly finish line should be all the motivation we need to keep up our endurance and cheer on our fellow runners until it is our time to be welcomed into the loving arms of the one who freed us.

Love, Molly

Copyright © 2022, M. Marley, LLC.

3 thoughts on “Rushing the Field

  1. It is indeed a privilege to FINISH STRONG! God bless those beautiful and strong girls, of yours, they give us ALL a lesson in what it means to serve God’s purpose. As parents we never know the impact our children make on other people or on us, enjoy your blessings and know that you are admired and loved more than you you will ever know.

  2. Oh what a delight she has been to me!!! She has such a unique and precious way about her that definitely makes her stand out in a crowd!! The hand of Father God has surely formed this one!!

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