Every high school has one. It strikes dread in the hearts of all parents. It’s the inescapable concession stand and the shift you must work for a small portion of your life so that you can raise money for your child’s team or organization.
It’s not a hard job. It’s not like you have to figure out how to get a spacecraft to the moon and back or anything. It’s handing out slices of once warm pizza, Dr. Pepper and ring pops to the families who have been at a basketball (or football, or baseball) game anywhere from one hour to the whole night. But when that piece of paper comes around to sign up for a shift, parents look at it like someone has smeared the ebola virus all over it and ain’t no way we’re gonna touch that thing.
But we do. We have to. We are the few, the proud, the “sign me up” parents of the high school.
So Tuesday night was my shift. Our school has it set up so that you work a game when your child isn’t playing, so a friend and I worked during the varsity girls’ game since we both have boys playing in the later game.
Have you ever watched a high school girls’ basketball game?
Now don’t get me wrong – a lot of these girls are really good and play extremely hard. So it’s not their lack of talent, ability or desire that is the issue. For some unexplained reason though, a girls’ game usually gets totally congested with fouls and jump balls. And jump balls… and jump balls…
The girls’ game Tuesday night was no exception. So it was running way looonnnnng. My friend and I got so bored in our jail cell – I mean the concession stand – we cleaned tables, swept the floor in the eating area, scrolled through Twitter and Instagram… and then the unthinkable happened.
At the end of the girls’ game we were tied. And yes, we play stinking overtime.
HALLELUJAH!!! (Said no one.)
So the varsity boys’ game that was supposed to start at 7:00 started at 8:40. Yep, 8:40. Now that may not seem late to you, but I’m typically in my pj’s by 8:00 watching a meaningless, mindless but entertaining show on TV and napping until it’s time to get up and go to bed.
We seriously thought we would never be free from the concession stand – stuck there forever surrounded by a now-empty Chick-Fil-A heated sandwich holder and boxes of Snicker’s bars and Skittles. (At least we wouldn’t go hungry.) The cheese machine for the nachos was well on it’s way to retiring for the night and ain’t no way we were popping any more corn.
And then FINALLY though God’s great mercy the girls game was over (we won, BTW) and we were set free. Sounds ridiculous, I know. But a one hour shift turned into a 2 hour shift which felt like a 10 hour shift. Now the length of my shift really wasn’t the problem. The problem was that my time of confinement didn’t match up with my expectations of what I had signed up for.
All too often as Christians we think we’ve signed up for “the good life,” that we are going to do whatever we think being a Christian is all about and we won’t encounter problems or unexpected events along the way. (Doesn’t God save those for unbelievers? Hmmm?) We forget that God is in control of the game clock, and if He wants us to serve somewhere a little longer or serve in a way that is out of our comfort zone we should be open and ready for those opportunities. And we should serve with joy and without complaining (which I did until the game went into dadgum overtime and then all bets were off) because we are Christ’s ambassadors every single day, in every situation.
If I could serve the unexpected events as well as I serve those that I know are coming I’d have a lot more peace and joy in my life.
“If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 4:11)
In all things. Not in the things I want to do, things I expect to happen, but serve so that God will be glorified in all things – even a never-ending shift in the high school concession stand.
Oh and to my 3 friends who told me “I never got the sign-up sheet,” don’t you worry.
I got you all taken care of. (;
You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!