Thursday, December 11, 2008

Basketball shoes and prayer

One thing I can tell you about having boys is that they are always participating in some kind of sports activity. Last month, we breathed a sigh of relief because football was finally over. Carson's (our youngest son) team made it to the payoffs and they won the championship game for their division. It was so exciting but I was completely ready for the football season to end. I was tired of the hectic schedule and wanted some down time for our family. A good rest was needed in our home.

Well, after only 3 days of "rest", we began basketball practice. Both of our boys signed up so of course they needed brand new basketball shoes!

At first I objected. Afterall, their school tennis shoes would be fine. That hole in Brody's shoe could easily be taped up and Carson's hand-me-downs would certainly survive a few more months.

The boys had a whole different game plan. They secretly stratergized then confronted me with the idea that their new shoes could play a dual role. Ya know, basketball shoes and winter shoes combined. I fell hook, line and sinker.

Before I knew it, we were in the car and headed for the local shoe store. I had already told the boys we needed to stay away from one of those fancy sporting goods stores that seldom have the kind of deal we were looking for. I've majored in shopping most of my life and this was defintely a buy one get one free moment.

As we drove to the store, I began to feel my stress level rise. So many thoughts were flooding my mind. Basketball shoes are expensive. Christmas is right around the corner. So much for those cute boots I was saving up to buy. It's after 7:00 pm on a school night. What am I doing! In that moment, I blurted out "Brody, would you please pray".

To my surprise, my 13 year old said "sure mom" and began to pray. Ya see, it has become a small custom for our family to pray when we pull out of our driveway. It doesn't matter whether we're running a simple errand or leaving for a 7 day vacation. We always ask God for protection and a safe return home.

Brody started out his prayer by just thanking God first. He said thanks for passing his science test that moring and for his friends. He thanked God for keeping our family safe and for a great dinner that night (I made tacos which is a favorite). He even asked God to forgive his sins that day.

There I sat, beaming like any proud mamma would be. I thought to myself "he really gets it!" Brody new the importants of praise, thanksgiving and confession. I was so proud of him.

Then he began to pray about his new to be found basketball shoes. Not only did he ask his Heavenly Father that we find a pair that but that it would be the right size for both him and his brother. That these shoes would be on sale at a really good price but still a name brand of course! He prayed that we would find these shoes quickly and not have run to several different stores since after all it was a school night.

In those few moments, I learned something very special about my teenage son's prayer life. It was real, it was intimate, and it was heart felt. He prayed in such a way that many people don't truly experience or even understand. Brody knows that his prayers ascend before Emmanuel, which means God with us. That his heavenly Father will pause to listen to his voice when he calls out to Him.

What is your prayer life like? Do you only go to God with the "big stuff"? Do you think He is way to busy to hear your prayers? Do you think you have to come clean and be perfect before he will accept you? Brody isn't perfect but He knows his Father accepts him just as he is. He knows that His heavenly Father always has time for him, no matter how busy life may seem.

After one hour, we found two pair of basketball shoes for the boys. There were just the right size and just the right price. Not only that, they were name brand too! What more could we have asked for. God was faithful and answered a young boy's prayer about basketball shoes. As we headed home, I didn't have to ask my son to pray, he just did it automatically as a natural response to his joyful heart. My heart was full of joy too knowing that the feet that would walk in those shoes, would also the road for Christ.