Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BUSY (08/15/19)
- TITLE: Confessions of a Marching Band Mom
By Janet Richey
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The high school marching band was a diverse, and frequently unruly bunch of teens who regularly needed a little affirmation that they might not have gotten from their peers or parents. They came from every walk of life, and were there either because of their pure love of performing, or because they couldnâ€™t fit in anywhere else. They had their own unique charm, and I was captivated by each one of them.
Between our two daughters, the family was involved in the program for six insanely chaotic and busy years. It became a social outlet and source of validation for this stay-at-home mom whoâ€™d done little else since the girls were babies. Since I knew my way around a sewing machine, and could write a snappy email to rally the troops, I easily became one of the â€œpopular kidsâ€; something incomprehensible in my own high school life.
During that six years, our weekends were consumed by football games, competitions, community events and fundraisers. Family dinners became less frequent, and our elementary aged son struggled to fit into that dynamic. We were too tired to make it to church come Sunday morning, yet I complained because I couldnâ€™t establish any relationships there. Even more appalling, I justified it by making a vow to God and myself that once theyâ€™d both graduated, Iâ€™d put more effort into my Christian life.
Marching band had become my religion.
The thing is, once youâ€™re on that hamster wheel, itâ€™s difficult to get off. I was blindly chasing praise and validation, while my girls were turning themselves inside out to become better performers than their peers. Admittedly, their participation taught them an incredible work ethic; it also gave them a safe haven in the storm of high school popularity contests and invisibility. From that perspective, it was difficult to see the damage being inflicted by allowing one activity, particularly a secular one, to take control of over nearly every aspect of our family life.
At a girls night out, glass of wine in hand, a marching band mom recalled â€œWhen I found out that you were a Christian, I was worried youâ€™d be a preachy bore. Boy! You proved me wrong.â€ Looking down at the wine glass in my own hand, I had never been more convicted.
After the girls graduated, I spent the next couple of years severing the cords, while losing a little bit of myself in the process. My old self. The consequences of that sin still linger like the remnants of a cold winter rain, but my God was gracious. He provided me direction in the form of solid Christian friends and a church I could call home. It is a living reminder of Godâ€™s presence in my life.
2 Peter 3:17,18a ESV â€œYou therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...â€. It is a stretch to say that I was surrounded by actual lawlessness during my marching band years, but I did lose my stability as a Christian. I canâ€™t get those years back, but I use it as a reminder every time I find myself getting pulled into a vortex of anything that draws me away from Him. It is Godâ€™s grace at work in my life. And like the sunrise somewhere in Florida, I just need to open my eyes to see it.
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