It was a time of enjoyment. We were headed to Miami from Chicago, for a few days, to attend a baseball tryout camp for prospective college students. What an exciting opportunity for our high school junior. Not only would our family of four have a vacation in sun-drenched Miami, but also get a chance to tour the university, during the 3-day event.
Funny how things work out. This was going to be a trip to remember. It turned out just that.
As my husband drove us from the airport to the hotel, we were quite intimidated by the scores of vehicles traveling break-neck speed on the streets of Miami. That was our first feeling of trepidation, with more to come. Of course our boys, (with the oldest being 20), thought it was cool.
The second evening in this exciting city, we walked along a beautiful stretch of Miami beach, taking in the sights and sounds of the ocean, sky and everything else in between.
Sinking our feet into the white gold sand, and walking a few paces behind our 'hormone filled' , tall, athletic young men, we saw the excitement in the 16 year old's eyes-- which flitted to and fro from one scantily clad girl to the next--- while his 20 year old brother kept reminding him of all the FUN he would have playing baseball and checking out the girls. No mention of college studies at all.
The wind was gentle, the sun was setting, but, my stomach was churning. I did not have a comfortable feeling. As we strolled by the various designer shops, hotels and restaurants, I quietly told my husband that I didn't think our son was ready for this type of environment. He agreed, though with some hesitation.
However, in reading this narrative, one might think the boys knew nothing about salvation, Christianity, good and evil. WRONG! Both boys had accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior many years prior, actively involved in church, and read their bible and prayed (on occasion). But, the words, “IT IS WRITTEN” were not yet part of their vocabulary. In other words, a little too much temptation to deal with.
During the tryouts, our son interacted and enjoyed fellowshipping with other student athletes as far away as the Dominican Republic and Washington state. He met with coaches, scouts, and networked.
Before proceeding to the airport the last day, we stopped and had breakfast at a quaint, family restaurant near the hotel. As we ate, my husband asked what the baseball coaches thought about the tryouts.
“Good,” my son mumbled through a mouthful of buttermilk waffles. “He said keep up my training.”
Then, I asked the thousand-dollar question, “So, what do you like about the school?”
Sending a sideways glance to his brother, he smirked, “the girls, to begin with. Plus, there is a lot to do here.”
Right, I thought to myself --- a lot of potential trouble.
Thanks be to God, college and baseball in Miami never materialized. Following that trip, I remember specifically asking the Lord to open up another opportunity --- one that felt 'right.' My prayer was answered! Our talented and smart baseball player matriculated to Michigan for his freshman year and later transferred to North Carolina, where he currently attends on an athletic and academic scholarship.
In these past four years, our entire family has grown in it's relationship with Jesus Christ. The older brother is now a husband and father, with Jesus as the center of his family.
It's funny, my husband and I often reminisce how wonderfully amazing God has been over the years, especially in the raising of our children.
One of my favorite scriptures comes from Matthew 6:33-34, and reads, “But, seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow...”
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