Sitting at the track meet, I was nervous for her. Megan was competing in her first outdoor track meet for high school. She was running in three events that day. This is nothing new for me. I am always nervous for her. My anxiety kicks in because I know how badly she wants to hit a new record or win the event. Anyway, on this particular day, there were a couple of men sitting behind me. As Megan began the 1600m event strong, I smiled. Behind me though the commentary began. The men were older and reminded me of those two muppet guys that sit in the balcony and make fun of the muppets (just to give you an idea of what I was dealing with). Their comments went something like this…
“She started way to fast. She is going to peter out soon.”
“You see those girls on her shoulder, they are going to overtake her as soon as she loses steam.”
“There is no way she can hold that pace.”
“She is slowing down. Here come those girls. They are going to take her. They are just waiting for her to fail.”
So these comments mixed with my anxiety concocted a potion of explosion for this mama. I whispered to my sister that I needed to walk away and was hopeful she would stay and watch my 9 year old. She gave me the signal to go and I got up and walked away. I finished the race in peace; watching my girl finish first and never peter out. She did amazing. I smiled and returned to my seat with my mouth shut. No more comments. Nothing.
I so wanted to rub in the win. I so wanted to tell those men to keep their mouths closed because lots of us mamas are out here watching our kids. We love them. We support them. We avoid saying things about other runners because we know they have mamas. We cheer for everyone. That is what cross country is about. You just cannot help but cheer on a kid that is striving to do his/her best – down to the very last runner.
How we handle people putting their foot in their mouth is a reflection of what is in our heart. I don’t always handle situations the way God wants me to, but this time I did it. When Jesus was being arrested in the Garden and Simon Peter cut off the ear of one of the Romans, this is what Jesus says,
John 18:10-11 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. 11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?”
Should we be door mats to people? No, but Jesus calls us to look at the situation. Jesus was doing what He was called to do by God: die on the cross. Everything was going as planned, and He needed Peter to follow through with that plan. It was a bad situation and it didn’t need to be worse. One death was enough. Besides if the disciples and Romans would have fought, then the plan loses its focus.
If I would have said something to this men, would it have changed the outcome of the race? Nope. It was better for me to walk away and relish the win of my daughter, then to stare down and shut down the mouths of these men. I experienced her joy. I shut down the suffering they were throwing my way by walking away.
Jesus calls us to assess each situation and really think about the consequences. He wants us to put God’s will first, not ours.