Catch the Ball!

By Stan Mitchell
droppedpass33.jpg“A poor man who oppresses the poor is a beating rain that leaves no food” (Proverbs 28:3, ESV).
The little boy slipped out of the backfield, and broke free into the secondary. The quarterback saw him, and threw a perfect spiral his way. The pass landed, soft as an autumn leaf, in his hands.
And he dropped the ball!
But that’s not the part I remember most. His father, a large man, and apparently an ex football player himself, rose from the stands, his face contorted in anger: “No son of mine,” he yelled so that all could hear, “drops a pass like that.”
The little fellow hung his head in embarrassment, and returned to the huddle. But here is my question: If you were that little boy, would this type of paternal “motivation” make you more likely to catch a pass next time around, or to drop it?
I worry about the long-term effect of this kind of parenting on this boy, but ironically the short-term effect also falls short of the father’s desire. Likely, this little boy will not be in an emotional state to make the next play, either. Not only is his father not fulfilling his role as dad, but he is also not as good a coach as he thinks he is!
I expect the next pass to fall harmlessly to the ground, also.
Solomon tells of rainfall, which is normally beneficial, falling in a driving storm, and causing more harm than good. Rulers who intimidate their populations, spouses who nag their partners, and parents who constantly criticize their children will find that the effects are the opposite of the ones they desire.
Next time, try this: “Better luck next time! You can do it, I believe in you!”

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