Yesterday the boys were up at the crack of dawn bike riding. They make their way around the neighborhood speeding through the cul-de-sacs and saying hi to our neighbors. They have a few favorites they see dog-walking every morning. It helps get their energy to a bearable level by breakfast and most mornings they come back with a story or two.
Yesterday morning, Judson and Courson apparently had a wee bit of a crash. Judson scraped his knee but we were so busy before breakfast getting packages ready to ship and clearing out the last of our American Gold Star Chrostmas stuff that he forgot about it.
By noon, he was due at a neighbor’s house for work. He helps around their place a couple days a week. For $2 and hour, he washes the lawn furniture, cleans their patio, pulls weeds, and afterwards they usually feed him his favorite lunch. Hot dog, macaroni and cheese, and a cold gatorade..
After work, he came home and got ready for swim practice. Running out the door, he remembered his scrape from 8 hours earlier and asked for peroxide. The thing was barely visible anymore with dirt from the neighbor’s yard work and I told him to get his stuff and get to the car quick. He raced off smiling and David took him to practice.
Apparently, swim practice didn’t go so well. At some point or another, he was either kindly removed from practice because of his injury or blatantly called out for not doing his best– the finer points of which vary depending on which brother you ask. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know. But when he got home, Judson walked in, swim bag over his shoulder, looking ticked, hurt, and somewhat confused. I think there was more than a fare share of exhaustion that played a part, but none the less, this boy needed a chat.
I sat down and looked his sweet freckled face straight in the eyeballs. I asked him– truly– how bad did his scrape hurt? At this point, it was barely visible and while I could see there had been a bump, it really didn’t look like much at all.
He said it wasn’t that bad.
I asked him if he remembered who he was?
He looked confused.
I said, “You’re Judson REBACK. You got up early this morning and rode your bike six miles. You worked hard helping us get the boxes to the office for 300 Gold Star kids. You then went and worked helping Ms. Leila. You are an amazing kid and a hard worker!”
“Your the son of David. The guy who finished an Ironman after puking for six miles in Kona. The dad who didn’t quit and finished that Ironman even though he needed a few IV bags to recover.”
“Your the brother of Bliss…who finished her last triathlon after a wipe out on the bike that rashed her rear and gave her a circle 8 inches of raw bloody skin and a chipped pelvis…she still finished that race!”
“Your built from a long line of fighters. WW1, WW2, Vietnam, men that fought with MacArthur and lived to tell the tale! You’ve got that kind of blood flowing through your veins!”
“And don’t forget about the things the Lord has called you to. Son, you’re going to have to deal with a lot harder things than a scrape and keep goin’ hard. Your coaches and team mates are going to need you to push through even when your tired or hurt. They’ll need you to be tougher!”
His little eyes were widened. Those freckles were so sweet I wanted to kiss each one of them as I looked into his eyes that were mirror images of my own. Do you ever just fall in love with your children over and over again? I surely do. This boy’s heart was beating faster as he stood there in his speedo suddenly remembering who he was. He realized that tiredness and negativity had gotten the better of him at practice. I told him that it happens to all of us. We just gotta remember who we are, WHOSE we are, what we are made of…and dig a little deeper to finish out the practice, the game, the day to the best we possibly can.
I then realized I was mostly preaching to myself. I needed that sermon every bit as much as he did.
So be encouraged today. Sometimes it’s easy to forget, but remember who you are. Who the Lord says you are. You may be tired and overwhelmed, but He says you can do this job through Christ who strengthens you. He says you are His chosen servant for this job. He says anything is possible for those that believe.
He says you are His. He says you are forgiven and blameless. He says you are worthy of His love. He calls you His child.
And remember what you are made of. He says you are made up of a family of faith with a long history of walking in the miraculous and seeing the impossible come to fruition. And just like little Judson, I hope you walk away encouraged today.