Tessa is such a cutie. Now, we have sometimes likened our little Tessa to a turtle. After meeting Ella, who is a snappy, everything-is-done-so-fast, you knock things over kind of girl… it was funny to meet our Tessa, who we saw from early on that she was on her own time. She can’t be bothered to hurry up. She is just on a different timeline than her sister. While Ella is a natural runner, Tessa is not. However, I decided to register both girls in this bank sponsored community track program. It is a very low pressure, fun way to interact with coaches and team mates, and explore track and field events. They have had 4 practices, and yesterday was the first meet (350 area kids are registered).
I could tell Ella & Tess were both a little nervous before the track meet, so I described to them what they could expect (as much as I knew) so they would be put at ease.
We also repeated our Bible memory verse Colossians 3.23 ~ “And whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, working for the Lord and not for people!” Only we substituted the verb for this case: “Running for the Lord, and not for people!”
I told them to do their best, and they knew they would be earning a ribbon regardless of when they came in.
Fast forward to the evening after the race, and here are Tessa’s comments:
“Mom, didn’t I do great?”
“Mom, I did really, really good on those hurdles!”
“Mom, look at my ribbon! Can you believe I did 100 meters in only 21 seconds?”
I LOVE track! I can’t wait until the next meet!”
“Mom, I still can’t believe I ran that race in only 21 seconds!”
I encouraged Tessa emphatically, because she did do great! She ran her little heart out! I was able to be next to the track for this race, and see her begin (she is the runner 3rd from the left, in brown leggings):
I watched her run beside 7 competitors.
I watched her cross the finish line.
She was so proud of her ribbons..... (ellas were misplaced by a coach?)
...and I began to wonder if she knew she came in dead last. I didn't ask, but it did come out in conversation: yes, she did know—but she was proud of herself. She ran her best!!
"Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it". (Mark 10.15, Luke 18.17)
I am proud of my Tess! Yes, because I am a mommy, but also because she did exactly what I told her to do. She ran for Jesus and not for people, and she was filled with the joy of having done a good job.
I am quite sure that across our valley, there were tears over not earning a blue ribbon. Over being *so close*, but just not being faster than the other kid. Over it not being “fair” that they jumped the gun. I am so glad that when Tessa’s heart was exposed in this competitive venue, she was overjoyed to overflowing. That’s the difference of running for Jesus, versus running for yourself.
Now, before you go thinking that my kids just aren’t competitive, you ought to know better! I’d invite you to come over on any given night, and watch us play a family game! We have tears shed weekly when we are playing game, and so-and-so doesn’t win. Or it’s not “fair”. Or comes in 2nd place. It happens.
I’m just glad that this 6 year old gem showed me what it is really all about.
Bless the Lord, O My Soul! (Psalm 103)