My husband won’t play recreational volleyball with me. He says I’m mean.
I played volleyball in college and, admittedly, still take it very seriously. I have to work hard at enjoying a game for fun. For some reason people don’t enjoy getting pounded with a serve or yelled at for not rolling for a dig when they are goofing around. Go figure.
(And please, oh please, tell me you won’t scream and duck when the ball comes toward you.)
I had a game face. And it wasn’t the face that makes older people at the grocery store ask me to get baking powder off the top shelf for them either.
We all need a game face for life. We’re constantly being faced with hard, uncomfortable things that God wants us to do. Don’t have a game face? Find one. You’re going to need it. It’s what will let you tell people no. It will enable you to do hard things. It will allow you to meet criticism and disapproval without changing your position. You will need a game face if you’re going to do anything in life.
And I want to do things in life. I don’t want to repeat the same boring pattern over and over every day until I die. I want to meet new people, do new things, make a difference before I die. That means I will be uncomfortable. And you’ll be uncomfortable too if you want to do things that matter.
That’s all great, you say, but you don’t have a game face? That’s ok, no one starts out with one.
Do something hard. The next time you’re presented with an opportunity, don’t decline because it seems hard or uncomfortable or demanding. Teach that class. Book the flight for that conference. Stick up for the person being gossiped about. Say no when society says you should say yes.
Do the things that go against your personal inclinations. Walk up to a stranger at church and introduce yourself. Get up earlier and spend time with God. Learn to do 10 pushups.
Do something new. It’s easy to keep doing something when you’re good at it. But starting over requires being a beginner. It requires messing up. It sometimes even requires embarrassing yourself as you figure it out. Nobody has died from that yet.
Don’t quit. When life hands you something you don’t want, stick it out. You will eventually come to something you can’t leave and you’re going to need the practice.
Find a why. My why is grounded in my faith in Jesus. He promises to help me do whatever He calls me to do- not anything like leap tall buildings- but anything like raise a child with a rare disease. And all the other work He sets before me.
You’re going to need a game face to mother. This gig isn’t easy. Your children often oppose what you know you need to do and you need stamina and endurance and confidence and some joy.
You’re going to need a game face to be creative and share your work with the world. You’re going to have unfollowers, snarky comments, and hate mail. You need a deeper motivation than public approval.
You’re going to need a game face to enroll in college, start a new job, send that email. You’re going to need that game face for whatever you do.
A game face reflects an inner attitude of tackling the work when it’s hard, when it’s uncomfortable. A game face is a determination to not quit, an acknowledgement of a deeper motivation.
Find yours. Wear it.