Sometimes, cheaters win

#Deflategate

The national icon of Superbowl 49 starring a quarterback who is said to be the best the NFL has ever seen.  A quarterback who is now accused of cheating for gain.

A dilemma to moms everywhere.

As  a mom, I constantly reinforce, “Do the right thing and you will get the right result”, to my kids.  I tell them to persevere. Even when failure seems to be lurking at every corner, a breakthrough will happen.  But, you have to work to make it happen.  Just don’t quit.  Don’t even dream of taking the easy way out.

I know I’m not alone here. We all want our kids to succeed, but we want them to do so with character.  Which means no easy road exists.  Hard work and perseverance always pay off.

So when Tom Brady was allowed to win his 6th Superbowl ring in the midst of and undecided scandal, I wont lie when I say I was deeply disappointed.

He didn’t once deny that he had given the directive to have the ball deflated.  He presented himself, polished as a politician, and gave vague answers as he sat in the hot seat of national media.  Moments of awkward silence as he likely thought of his coached answers.  The whole interview was uncomfortable to watch. The most uncomfortable part?  Trying to reconcile how to explain that sometimes cheaters win to my kids whom I am working to raise with integrity.

The thing about cheating is that it can be done easily.  Some times without recognition of the people who live and work the closest around you.  A well placed secret between you and God that allows you to advance and appear to be someone you are not.  Sometimes people catch on.  Sometimes they don’t.  But at the core of cheating is the heart of a liar.  One who covers weakness to make others believe in a façade.

And as a mom, I do not want to participate in, nor imply that this behavior is ever okay to the little eyes that may be watching.

We live in a world that is fallen. It’s ruled by a prince who came to steal, kill and destroy.  We are witness to this evidence of destruction everyday.  The good news I that we await a king who will return to bring life and life in abundance.  Peace in the midst of conflict.  Hope in situations that seem hopeless.

Tom Brady may have his fancy new ring and a little slap on the hand for a bad decision.  My beloved Michigan Wolverines may be able to brag about producing champion quality quarterbacks. But the truth will always be revealed.

Cheaters may sometimes win but the victory will be hollow and temporary.  One day, we will have to give an account for our actions.

When we make the choice to live with integrity, even when no one is looking, then we can then walk with confidence.  Never worried about something that can slip us up.

We can speak with boldness when we aren’t worried about covering our tracks or keeping our story straight.

Never give up.  Do what is right.  Confidently expect that right will win in the end.  This is the message I will continue to reinforce to my kids, even when cheaters win.

 

 

 

 

I, too, will bloom

I settle in at the reception desk directly across from my soft spoken resident. She is perched gleefully on her walker seat anxiously awaiting the surprise inside  the box.  I pull off the paper strip and begin to release the contents- a vase, two packets of miracle flower power and a bundle of tiny, tender purple tulips.

“Who are they from?”, she asked.  I hand her the card.  This bouquet is special.  Sent just to say, “Thank you for all you have done for me.” I unwrap the cellophane and begin to clip the stems while removing the dead leaves from the buds.  Ice cold and closed up tight, these beauties are ready for a good drink of water and life giving sun light.

Under her watchful eye, she gleams as I clip, prune and arrange her beautiful flowers to perfection.  Feeling blessed to be part of such a wonderful gift, I think of the trip this bouquet has made.

Under precise attention, the seed is planted, fertilized, watered and pruned until the exact moment in which it needs to be clipped and frozen.  Mailed in a time sensitive manner so that the receiver can follow detailed instructions to experience the beauty of its very first bloom.   How amazing!

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to the end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Like the tender tulip buds, I am in a season of stay.  A seed planted, fertilized, watered and pruned until it is time to bloom into the purpose God has called of me.

I see the master gardner head my way with his cutters only to be passed by to another more seasoned than I.  They are ready to be sent to their receivers he has purposed for their life.

I celebrate their victory while prayerfully considering the instruction and character building he still has planned for me.  I endure pruning until I am flawless.  I rely on his protection from things that would cause me harm. I bask in his life giving light.

I anticipate my intended purpose.

I grow in faith knowing that in God’s perfect time I, too, will bloom.