We've shared before that Garrett wants to be a professional soccer player. He has (and we and other brothers and sisters have as well) been praying for this since he was 6-7.
He LOVES soccer but we've also talked to him about the importance of being a Christian soccer player. To be an example on and off the field.
This week he took an 18 hour bus ride with his team to the state of São Paulo. He went to the city of Angatuba (google map it if you are bored) to play in a big tournament.
He called yesterday and said they got beat 3-0 yesterday. They have another game today. We believe the outcome will be different but even if it isn't we know that Garrett's head is screwed on straight.
How do we know this?
Last week his coach came over to me, during practice, to tell me more about the trip. He told me that he was going to be a father to the boys and he would make sure that the boys behaved. I told him that if Garrett gave him any trouble then he could feel free to discipline him.
About this time the other coach heard the conversation, came over and joined in. He then began to tell me what kind of example that Garrett is to the team. He is a quiet leader. If you know Garrett then you know he isn't a big talker like others in our family (me, Ansley, Anderson). He never has been loud or liked to talk a bunch. So the quiet part wasn't anything unexpected but I was curious to hear about the leader part.
The coach began to tell me that most boys his age are loud and, if one is a leader, then they try to lead the group into trouble. He told me that he has never had a problem with Garrett but rather the other boys look to him to lead. What he does, or doesn't do, leads the group. The coach told me that the other boys look to him to set the tone and that Garrett always leads with a good example.
He plays the game the way he has always been. He doesn't yell, scream or cuss but he quietly leads by his example. He is getting better every day. Ever since the tournament in January his confidence has soared. He now is the starting attacker (forward in english?) in a group that has 30+ players but you never hear him brag. He is a humble player.
Don't get me wrong he is a boy and he is a teenager. He still prefers to play sports than study and he recently received a one day school suspension for blowing up some fireworks at school (I admit that I smiled before my girlfriend laid down the punishment).
He's a boy and we have to deal with what that means from time to time but he is a good kid and it really made us proud to hear his coaches praise his Christian attitude on and off the field.
I brought him home that night and then called him and my girlfriend into the kitchen to tell him what his coaches had said.
In typical form he didn't say much. In fact I don't remember him saying anything. He just had a small grin when I finished.
The sports world definitely needs a Christian soccer player.
Feel free to join us in praying for him to be one of them and please pray for his safety as he returns home this week.