Finding Your Passion

The ice rink where my daughter plays hockey shut down about a month ago. In a town where ice is already a precious commodity, losing two sheets of ice has made a mess of the hockey schedule. We have had games and practices all over town. One weekend we drove to a town more than an hour north of here to play a game, then drove to a town an hour east of here to play another game an hour and a half later. Last weekend the team played back-to-back games against two different teams. Talk about tired legs.

I have to admit that my husband and I have not been overly thrilled with the changes. Rationally, we understand that it's no one within the hockey organization's fault, but it still places a lot of stress on our weekend schedules. To top it off, hockey practice got moved to the same night at nearly the same time as my older daughter's soccer practice, so it's been a struggle to get everyone where they are supposed to be.

Through all the running around, I've learned something from my daughter. Not once has she complained about the crazy schedule. I know that sometimes she's exhausted playing so many games in a weekend. She doesn't like riding in the car for a long time to get to her games, either. Back-to-back games aren't a whole lot of fun for her 7-year-old legs. Yet, for her, hockey is a passion. She loves it so much that she's willing to play any time, anywhere.

It's part of our job, as parents, to help our kids to find their passion. God created each person with a unique set of passions and desires, so He can use those to glorify Him. Psalm 139:14 tells us that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." Our job is to nurture those passions in our kids. Sometimes, it takes a while for your child to find that thing they are passionate about, and it may not match your own. When we started playing hockey, my husband didn't know icing from slashing, but he's learning. When my oldest started playing soccer, I didn't know a scissor kick from a maradona turn, but I'm learning.

Your child may not even know what their passion is. They may need a little nudge from you to pursue it. Fear of failure can be a powerful force that will convince your child not to even try. Your job is to be an encourager and a sounding board. Encourage your child to try something new. If they fail, encourage them to try something else. If they succeed, become their biggest champion. Most of all, help them to recognize that that passion comes from God, and He wants them to use it for Him.