Although I am a fan of American football (fave team – GO CHIEFS), I never played it much growing up. You know what I did play? Soccer.
Yup, that other sport where people run up and down a grass field trying to score with a ball.
People say it’s lame, but trust me, it takes being extremely physically fit to play well. To play professionally, you have to be the offspring of a Greek god or goddess.
I played for a club team in my home town and played some indoor soccer as well; imagine hockey, but you’re on firm ground and you are using the ball as you would outside (CAN BE BRUTAL). I played soccer in college for one year in defensive positions. Left that school on political scruples as I was an idealistic Freshman and very green behind the ears!
Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago, some buddies of mine and I flew in to Kansas City to check out our team Sporting KC whoop tail on the Colorado Rapids. BTW, shout out to the amazing limo rental company that took us from the hotel to Sporting Park and then took us back to the hotel – overlandparklimoservice.com. Very nice driver. Yet again, I digress…
So, it got me to thinking though about how I feel like soccer has been such a defining thing in my life. I haven’t played it in years. I don’t even follow the professional world all that closely anymore. I don’t know…it’s weird.
So, I’m not really quite sure when movies became such a big deal to me. I can remember as a young child our Friday night ritual of ordering a Bigfoot Pizza from Little Caesar’s, a couple of 2 Liters of liquid sugar, and going to the local video rental store to scour the new releases for a funny film or two to watch.
The first film I have vague memories of going to see in the theaters was E.T. My parents say that the very first movie I ever saw in a theater was Fox and the Hound. Going to the movies as a kid was a big deal though. I certainly remember how excited I would get. I can remember going with a lot of little friends to see Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. I can also remember that having a bag of Reese’s Pieces was very important.
I won’t forget the summer going in to my 7th grade year of school, a wise thinking businessman built a “Dollar Theater” called The Palace, a couple of blocks from my house. I must have seen three dozen movies that summer, and run a well worn path from door to door!
I sat in the audience amongst 1,000 other listeners as the inspirational speaker asked this important question, “What defines YOU?”
That one took me for a ride. I had never really thought about it you know(?). I’m a 50 year old Midwestern man, hard working, with strong family values. I operate a business that pays me very well and I enjoy, I have three amazing kids, a devoted wife, a mortgage free home, an RV… Does that define me though?
I was raised in a nuclear family. I don’t mean “nuclear” as in they were exploding and blowing up all of the time. Nuclear as in an “intact” family…like a Sociologist would use the word. My parents loved my sister and I…no divorce or separation exists in my family or my wife’s family. Does that define me?
My parents were both believers in Jesus Christ. Meaning, they believed that He was who He says He was, and they believe that He did what He said He did. They taught me about faith, and that He sacrificed Himself so that I could have eternal life. I carried those beliefs until my teenage years when I began a more focused faith journey. I devoted many years to working in Churches and teaching others about my faith as a profession…and still do privately. Does that define me?