Editor's note: This article was originally published on Sarah West's blog, Heartskeeper. It has been republished here with permission.

Both of my kiddos play sports. We seem to have found our niche in the game of soccer. And though I am somewhat bias, both of my little athletes are good.

Really good

Each had the honor of playing in the soccer league championships. One of them came away as soccer league champion while the other experienced a crushing defeat in round two, ending their season in second place.

At the end of the day, we were ALL exhausted and sunburned.

If you want to see the true colors of parents and coaches, throw them on a soccer field and hold out a championship trophy for the taking.

It gets interesting

We got front row seats, minus the popcorn.

Coaches were making threats to other coaches.

Parents were encouraging very un-sportsman like behavior.

This isn't about the praise of the awesome athletic abilities of my kiddos. This is about a lesson that we all can stand to learn about our purpose in life.

After the pictures were taken and the medals were given, we went on with our normal, everyday lives.

There was not an entourage of people lining the street where we live, applauding my soccer stars for their long hard fight.

No "Eye of the Tiger" played as we walked into our home.

First place kid

went to their room and played video games.

Second place kid

went to their room and colored.

My husband and I drank a gallon of Gatorade and collapsed on the couch, thankful the season was over.

It was fun.

It was exciting.

At the end of the day, it was just a game

So many times in life, we place so much value on things that don't matter.

Regardless of how athletic you are or in my case, are not, you are still important and have a purpose in this life.

"When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is: fear God and keep His commands, because this is for all humanity. For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 HCSB

Our lives will have meaning and worth only when we serve God

My concern for the generations coming up is that this message is being lost in a sea of technology, status and the occasional sports medal.

No wonder we never seem to be satisfied

I am very proud of my kid's accomplishments on the field.

I felt honored to be a part of a team of parents and coaches that represented themselves as positive examples to their team - win or lose.

But when we go home, our family doesn't place their medals over the value of their souls. I want them to be champions for a great cause and that cause is Christ.

  1. Much like sports, growth in your relationship with God can be challenging and exhausting.

  2. Sometimes, the "game" isn't fair and the conditions not in your favor.

  3. There will always be someone telling you to do something totally against your faith. Stick to what you know is truth.

  4. In this world, you might lose more battles than you win. Know that you are playing for an eternity, not a season.

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