Most of them were crying. Someday they’ll learn to have more control over their emotions, but not just yet; the gift of innocence is still alive in them. The tears would spill on and off all night, not a bad thing. I’ve seen it before many times. In truth it is sad, makes me wanna cry too, not for me, for them. The sad truth is they’ve grown up – they’re not kids anymore and they know it. They know the time has come and their childhood is officially over…
Sure it’s just a game and no one is thrilled with losing, especially after coming so close to knocking off an older, more experienced and massively favored opponent in the Arizona State Championship Division 1 high school girls lacrosse game, but that’s only a part of the story behind the tears flowing from their eyes.
The reality of life is weighing heavy on their minds and hearts, they are dealing with the bittersweet reality of something ending, never to be revisited again in body, only in their minds. All good things come to an end and there’s zero we can do about it. We can change many things in this life, but stopping or rolling back time isn’t one of them.
Part of it is timing, the season ended so close to the end of the school year, the seniors were already wrestling with overall change. The lacrosse season ending, especially with a loss, is the straw that broke the camels back, or the drop that broke the dam as it were.
The truth is sad… and I’m sad too… I don’t show them, I tell them, but I hold back. They know their coaches are sad too, maybe me more due to my age and experience. They only know enough of the subject to know it’s sad, I’ve lived the reality of the changes in life and understand how special our time together was as a team and the friendships that will be part of who they are from now on.
I think God selects people to cross paths in this life… and His timing is perfect. The lives we get to share and be part of lasts for the blink of an eye. Although young, and short of life experiences, those girls know it is special. They’ve lived long enough to know a good thing when they see it and an even greater thing after having lived it.
The game as young adults is the parable of life… There was hard work. There was pain. There was blood, sweat, and tears. There was a lot of laughter. There was anger. There was compassion. There was gratification… There was sadness and there was immense joy. Then there was loss…
All the different physical and emotional feelings lived out in real life in the great game of life. Although coming up one victory short of a championship, the girls have learned one of the great lessons of life; a winner can’t be measured by a number… A winner is measured across their lifetime.
The time we have on this earth that is spent living a life of honor, living and sharing our lives together is how we define a winning and victorious life.
I’ll miss the season and chapter of life spent with the ones God’s placed in my path, but in the sadness of reality I find the warm comfort and joy that comes from giving a piece of my heart to the girls to carry with them on their journey through this game of life and lacrosse.
May they carry it with honor…