Part of my new job as Director of Youth Ministry at St. John the Evangelist parish is to oversee the CYO Basketball program. This is out of my comfort zone, since I know little about basketball and even less about concession stands, gym floors and coaches. Still, I love the children and teens in the parish and have been learning a lot about all issues surrounding CYO basketball. Proponents of CYO have been inviting me to attend some games, but I have always had scheduling conflicts until today.
Today, John and I found ourselves with a little free time in the middle of the day. Since there were home basketball games scheduled, we decided to check out a game. We stopped at the gym just as the 3rd & 4th grade co-ed game was beginning. This is the youngest group of our CYO players and I was excited to see the kids as they are just learning to play.
The game was just delightful. The children played with great heart and great sportsmanship. Their skills are just developing, and they are so excited when they do something right. A steal is cause for celebration. A basket is cause for celebration. Even a good pass is cause for celebration. I loved watching them run up and down the floor, dribbling with all their might, shooting as hard as they can, scrambling for rebounds and, once in a while, getting it right. I felt so much love for the children out there doing their best.
As I sat watching the game, watching the various happenings on the floor with great joy and laughter, it occurred to me that this must be similar to the way God watches us. We do the best that we can, with our limited abilities, and God sees our potential, our attempts, our hearts and loves us so much. My love for my little CYO players is just a small taste of the love God has for all of us. It makes me so happy to think about God this way.