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Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Middle Man

When our son, Zachary, was in the 5th grade and played on the elementary basketball team, the coach divided the team into "A" and "B" teams (including 4th - 6th grade boys). Zachary was at the very bottom of the "A" team.

During one particular tournament, the "A" team was playing an arch-rival. This is the team that always intimidates our teams, from Little League baseball and all the way up to high school. The game was close and our boys ended up losing by a only a few points. Zachary never, ever got to play during that whole game. He was the only boy that didn't get to play - all of the others did.

I didn't get upset. I try very hard to be realistic about my kid's abilities while also trying to be encouraging to them so they won't give up. Zachary didn't seem upset that he didn't get to play, but my husband and I both told him we were sorry that he didn't get to play.

The "B" team boys played afterwards. We stayed to watch half of that game and I don't remember if they won or not, but I know everyone got to play. So, out of all of the 4th - 6th grade boys on both basketball teams, Zachary was the ONLY one that didn't play during that day's games. I remember thinking to myself that he was in the middle. He was the "middle man". It would have been better to be at the top of the "B" team than at the bottom of the "A", but that's where he was - for the whole year.

Coach G. recognized that Zachary never played. It must have been sometime that evening because he told Zachary that if he had stayed for the other part of the "B" game, he would have put him in (even though we were sitting in the bleachers and Zachary was up there with us). I thought it was neat that the coach actually thought about it. He had lots of other things on his mind - like the almost 30 boys in his care!

Well, two years later, things are kind of at the same level, although now it's junior high and now there's no "A" and "B" team. All 20 boys (plus 4 more that share jerseys with others) play together. These boys are great ball players. They are a team we are expecting to go far in the playoffs in a few years. It's exciting! But, guess who's in the middle again? Yep. Zachary.

Last week he got to play, but for less than a minutes. Those on the top played a lot. Those on the end didn't play a lot, but played several minutes. Oh, and that game? Same arch-rival team, but not close at all. 40 points difference!

Well, this time Zachary was disappointed. We were, too. We talked to Zachary about it and cheered him up some. The coach didn't notice this time. And, I know for certain it isn't deliberate - it's just an oversight. And, I know we'll never say anything and coach will never read this blog. But, it's obvious that Zachary is still the "middle man".

Someone else was/is a middle man. His name is Jesus. Jesus came to earth to be the "middle man" to save you and I for our sins. God sent Him as His Son to be the "middle man" to take our punishment.
Zachary will survive being the "middle man" again this year. In the end he'll be stronger because of it, too. But, nothing Zachary will go through will ever compare to what Jesus did. Jesus went to the cross as the "middle man" in full submission to His Father.
Being the "middle man" is okay.

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Tell him he's in good company...same thing happened to Dee in 7th grade! After about 4-5 games of playing less than a minute, Dee talked to her coach (I think because she was afraid of what I might say) and started playing on the B team as well.

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