Matt made great hits every time at the plate. A couple shot above the shortstop's head and Matt announced over and over again that he "got a double". His efforts didn't stop there...
On the field he snatched up ball after ball throwing quickly to first. When he played pitcher he even caught a couple behind the back and again, hustled together to aim at first base. He was amazing!
After the game I had parents coming up to me asking his age, how long he's been playing and why we didn't advance him to instructional ball. (And if you must know, we felt Matt needed to be with players his own age. I don't want to push him. He may have talent, but he's still only in first grade. It was a maturity thing.)
One came up calling Matt "the stud player". More approached him saying he's a "true ball player". Steve and I always knew Matt can grasp athletic concepts easily, so this came as no surprise and you can imagine our delight. I mean there was a time when we thought his life would be altered in so many ways because of celiac disease. To see him excel swelled my heart. On the way home we were telling Matt what a great job he did and he was aware of the compliments he received. All of us were beaming.
Then this morning on our way to church Matt says, "I can't wait to play again today. You know, I'm the stud-player."
It hit. Hard. That awful word: PRIDE (with a little arrogance on the side)
I collected my thoughts about Saturday's game. Did I want my son to have this kind of ego? No. Not my son. Most of all Steve and I want our boys to know that God is the giver of life and talents and He should receive the glory, not ourselves. As I started sharing, we all were convicted and allowed humility back in.
Pride can be like a cancer. It starts out small and then grows to deform your mind and spirit. It allows man to think he is above the Lord even when you have the best intentions. Do we want Matt to play well? Sure. But I wasn't about to let the seed of pride be planted in his heart. No one will enjoy being around a bragging boy who only thinks of himself. We are the Body of Christ. No one is better than the other. Each has a position called to by God and each person is an important function; kinda like a team. We need to work together.
At the game today, he hi-fived his teammates. He shouted, "Great job," to all the guys. It wasn't about him, but the team. He wasn't boasting about his double yesterday. He just knew to play his best for the team; not himself. And again, I heard the comments from others. "Thanks," I said and left them at the doorstep.
"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." James 4:6