Years ago I was part of a small group which studied Andy Stanley’s message series called “Guardrails.” It’s an awesome series based on the basic principle that we need to set guardrails in our lives so that we don’t go over the cliff in our friendships, finances, marriages, etc. (In other words, where do we draw the line that we absolutely won’t cross?) Tuesday I revisited the message on friendships for my current small group as a great reminder of how to help our kids set up guardrails with friends as they navigate the treacherous roads of high school and college.
Now what I should have done is clamp down on the guardrails concept and work through that in all sorts of areas of my own life. I should have thought about the fact that at 7:00 (or more likely 7:30 because of the amount of fouls that occur in a varsity girls’ game) I would be at our first high school varsity boys’ basketball game, and yep – I should have set up some personal guardrails before heading to the gym.
I’ve said many times I don’t go to basketball games (or football games, even though my son doesn’t play football) to socialize. I’m there to cheer my team on to victory, much to the dismay (and hearing loss) of many who have chosen to sit near me during a game.
So I strolled up to the gym a bit overconfident. I confess I believed our own press. (not that the press was actually writing about our small high school team, because they weren’t). But I had listened to the kids talk about our opponent for Tuesday night, that since most of the opposing basketball team played football and they were in the football playoffs they hadn’t had any time to practice basketball.
As I said, I went into the game a bit overconfident – as did our team.
At the half we were down 21-16. Momma wasn’t happy. And you know the old saying, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy…”
Only through Jesus am I better these days than I used to be, but I’ve still got a ways to go in the sports momma attitude category. A lackluster first half plus some bad calls in the 2nd half plus no guardrails made me really grumpy and a little more vocal than I would like to admit. (I know what you are thinking – yeah, sure the calls were bad. But they really were. Last time I checked you couldn’t use your forearm to muscle a guy out of your way as you drive to the basket. But I digress…)
Now I wasn’t to the level of getting kicked out of the gym or anything like that, but I’m not sure anyone would look at me and think anything other than I’m a crazed basketball momma with a big mouth. Which I am.
A few guardrails would have really, really helped me. Guardrails such as I will NOT stomp my feet not matter how many shots we miss and I will NOT scream, “THAT’S TERRIBLE!!!” at a ref at any point in the game would have been helpful to keep me veering off the road of normalcy and down the cliff of crazy sports momma.
Proverbs 4:25-27 says it this way:
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
Staying on the straight path is always better than swerving to the right or to the left and ending up in a ditch. Guardrails work in all different areas of our lives if we will take the time to ask God what guardrails should we put into place and then commit to getting back on the road if we approach one.
We have 2 – 3 basketball games every week, so I’m gonna need some guardrails.
Where do you need to put up some guardrails so that you don’t swerve off the path God has for you?