November 8, 2013 by Isaac Hovet
I have always cared deeply about how my sports teams do. In 2000 I angrily turned off the TV when the Blazers squandered a 15 point lead in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers.
Last night, it hurt as the Ducks were overwhelmed and outplayed by a very good Stanford team. We turned the game off in the 2nd quarter. We didn’t turn it off because we were giving up, we were weary of practice.
Being a fan gives us a lot of practice in love.
The game has little relevance to “real life” and often the teams we follow have no relational connection to us. But, we are learning what love looks and feels like.
As a fan, we learn how to promote and advocate for who and what we love. In the weeks before a season, we learn how to get to know the strengths and weaknesses of players. We learn how we are going to process their immature “off-field” mistakes. We discover, from a distance, whether we tend towards grace or holding people’s feet to the fire.
During a season, we learn how to celebrate successes. We learn how to cheer.
And, we learn how to deal with disappointment that feels so deep. The emotions of a loss are the same emotions of grief. The hurt and bitter disappointment should be paid attention to.
As should our responses to them.
In my disappointment, I began to feel anger last night. I regret one phrase that came out of my mouth. Thankfully, my gracious wife was the only person present to hear my immaturity.
This morning, I am reviewing the “Isaac Love Practice” film of yesterday’s Ducks loss. I am seeing that my emotions in the midst of disappointment can lead me to misuse my words.
I am going back to practice today. Being a Duck fan is important for me. This practice refines me. And, I have the real game of life to attend to:
- Promoting what I love: God, my wife, my children
- Discovering the strengths and weaknesses of those around me and asking how I can help them grow and how I can cover their weaknesses in love.
- Being a wise helper to those who have painful or embarrassing “off-field” incidents.
- Celebrating success with my wife, my kids and church family.
- Working through hurt and pain and disappointment.
Have fun with practice, but let practice inform and shape your real life!