The child wakes up and looks out the window. It is a bright and sunny day, a perfect day to be outside practicing her skills, tryouts are in the fall when school starts. She will need to do well on everything especially that elusive slam dunk that she has been working on for a while now. Determination and commitment flowing through her veins, the child quickly laces up her sneakers and runs outside. As she is dribbling the ball she looks down at her shoes, they are shinny and beautiful. She remembers when she first opened the box and there they were gleaming with hope that if she wore them she would make the cut. She warms up and after a full day of practicing she still cant make that slam dunk. Frustrated she throws the ball at the house. It hits the garage as she cringes as she hears the familiar voice of her father, "Losing your temper wont make you hit that slam dunk. It's time for a break, come inside.". The girls sulks inside and complains to her dad that it is just too high.
A few weeks pass, she stopped practicing after her dad scolded her for hitting the house with the basketball. She laces up her sneakers, still shinny and new. Once again she is outside, the yearning to make the team is overwhelming, she glares at the basketball net. Then a thought occurs to her, if she lowers the hoop then she can make the slam dunk. From there she can slowly move it back up with the time comes, its just for now she tells herself. She drops it down one notch and takes aim. She goes to dunk it... it is still too high. The next day she does the same thing, lowers it two notches and takes the shot. Miss. She lowers it two more times before she nails her first slam dunk. So excited to have made the slam dunk she runs inside to tell her father. He races outside to watch. He slows as he sees the net, his face somber, he watches his daughter. She dribbles the ball with all the pride she has and takes her shot with a perfect slam dunk. She turns to her father to see the praise in his eyes. But what she sees is not praise but sorrow. She wants to know why he isn't happy for her. He explains that when try outs come the net will be at the full height. She argues that she plans on raising it as she gets better and better. He gently kisses her forehead and tells her he loves her. To be honest she knows she wont raise it, actually making the slam dunk feels too good.
It is time for tryouts. The girl is so confident that she will make the team. Her slam dunks have gotten great even if they are at a lower height. As tryouts begin she is the first to go, she misses all her shots and can't even come close to a slam dunk. She is still confident though because at least she tried to make it. She knows one of the girls didn't even practice over the summer, she at least did better then her. Besides, none of the other girls could make the slam dunk either, she is the tallest in the group. But at the end of the tryouts all make the team with the exception of the girl who didn't even try and herself. And all who made the team had much higher jumps then hers even if they did miss the dunk.
The child cries into her father's arms. She doesn't understand why she didn't make the team, she is the tallest and at least practiced. Her father explains to her that her jumps have gotten weaker over the summer. He explains that even though she was dunking the ball, it was at a lower height then the standard. He goes on to tell her that she was actually jumping higher when the height was normal even though she would miss it. She was pushing herself harder and practicing harder. She complains that she didn't even make a single basket and he tells her that it is all because she lowered the net, she was practicing on a shorter net so when she tried to make a standard shot she couldn't. With tears in her eyes but understanding in her heart they leave.
It is the next school year. The child has the ball in her hand, she once again looks at her shoes. They are no longer shinny but instead are tattered and worn. Her knees have scars on them from falling multiple times on the hard ground. Her muscles are tighter in her legs and her abdomen. She looks at the net and runs towards it, she pushes off the ground as hard as she can, it is almost like she is flying, she stretches out her arm; if she can just reach a little further she will make it...
You get the kids buckled in the car and pull out. You need to get a couple errands done before heading home and the kids are hungry. You turn up the Christian music to keep that Holy Spirit High flowing through your veins as you wait at a red light. Suddenly the light turns green and the car in front doesn't go. You start honking the horn, he doesn't go. You start screaming which foot is the gas, he doesn't go. In fact by the time he does go he is the only one to make it through. Now you are livid! What an (not a Godly word) comes out of your mouth. The light turns green and you floor it cussing that driver the whole way to your first errand. Now if this is you there is no point in pointing out what your children are learning from that. Act like a Christian in church but the second you are on the outside emotions are the rulers of the day. In the back of your mind you remind yourself you are at least a better mom then Susie Q who smacked her son at the grocery store when he interrupted her to tell her he needed to go potty (which she didn't hear him even say because she went right back on talking).
This is NOT good mommies! We were given a standard to live by when God blessed us with out children. This standard can not be lowered because we see other mothers acting worse than us. No! This has to stop! Our children need us to live by the same standard they will one day be expected to live by, and their children after that and so on. This standard is not a fluctuating standard, it is a consistent standard. It is like a rock, unmoving. As mothers we must live by this standard alone and let all other standards fall by the waste side. So what is this standard we are to live by?
The standard every mother needs to live by is Jesus. Jesus is the 10' basketball hoop mommies and yet we keep lowering His standard. This has to stop. Nowhere in the bible does it say "you will not be able to reach Jesus' standard so just come to right here". See the problem with us lowering our standard is we start to get lazy, we stop striving to do better. If we keep making the slam dunk at 8' every time why try for 10' which seems impossible? But see, if we keep our standard at the 10' then we can keep trying every day to make that slam dunk. We will get stronger every time we strive for the 10' and then we will make it! Not every time, that is not possible for us for we are broken mothers. But it does mean we can make it some of the time. Every time we stand with Jesus and refrain from yelling at the driver in front of us we make the slam dunk. Every time we stand up for the unborn, loving our enemies, praying for our leaders, giving to those who have less then us, not judging the mistakes of people who just want healing, and the list goes on; then we make that slam dunk. It is time our children knew where we stood a Christians. It is time mothers for you to stand up and raise your standard back to that of Jesus. That is a GOD GIVEN RIGHT of yours, can you not see that? No other creature on earth can strive for Jesus' standard. You are a child of God, a princess to the King, it is your RIGHT to strive for this standard. So the next time the devil tries to lower that standard down to an easy 8' you yell as his deceitful face to get off your court and you keep that standard of 10' in Jesus name! Amen!