Thursday, November 19, 2009

God vs. Hockey. Who Wins?

So far hockey is ahead.
This is my battle and no doubt a battle raging in many households here in Minnesota and elsewhere. When are all of the Sunday morning and Wednesday night practices and games TOO MUCH???
It is hard enough to drag the kids out of bed and into the minivan for the journey to church on a frosty November Sunday morning without the temptation of a much more fun and easier diversion of hockey or ballet or basketball (or pick your sport) practice. A battle always ensues. When did Sunday’s become fair game for coaches to schedule practices, rehearsals, and games?
I grew up in a town where the basketball or football coaches would have to answer to the resident Lutheran pastor (Missouri synod), who was equivalent to God, if they dared to dream of scheduling a practice on a Wednesday night or God-forbid a Sunday morning. It was grounds for excommunication!
Standards have changed in 25 years and living in a metro area that thrives on hockey and football. I have a hockey player, a ballerina, and a basketball player. I teach Sunday School and Wednesday night Confirmation classes. It is really a tough call. I sympathize with the parents of my students. In the past, church easily trumped sports and ballet practice without a doubt. But now that the Lutherans have decided it is okay to ordain gay clergy amongst their ranks, I now have an advocate on the side of Sunday sports. (Perhaps the Lutheran issues are a blog in itself and not worth touching with a 10-foot pole.)
So what does a church-going mother do? I believe in keeping Sundays for family. But as the kids get older and their activities more involved this gets more difficult with each passing year. I hate to admit that Sunday School has been skipped for a basketball game or hockey practice but Wednesday nights for Confirmation are sacred for the moment. 

When does it become too much? A child’s faith and lessons taught on Sunday mornings stays with them their entire life. Can you say the same about their chances at playing professional hockey or becoming a prima ballerina?