Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Lesson from the Miami Heat’s Struggles for Families

Tonight my Miami Heat lost to the Portland Trailblazers. It was their 5th consecutive loss – with 3 of them coming in front of a national television audience. Their slump is quite untimely as it comes at the most critical time of the NBA season, when teams are jockeying for playoff position. As a fan, it’s quite disappointing to see what’s happening – our super team appears to be falling apart at the seams.

The season isn’t over yet – there’s still time to get the ship going in the right direction. But for now, it seems like we’ve got a long road ahead. The championship hopes that we Heat fans had coming into the season appears to be more of a figment of our imagination than anything.
“What does this have to do with the Upbeat Dad?” you might ask. Read on - you'll see in a moment. Last summer at the height of the free agency period, the team was on cloud 9 as free agents Lebron James and Chris Bosh signed with the team to join Dwyane Wade to form a super team – the dynamic trio, if you will. Wade and James are arguably 2 of the top 3 or 4 players in the league and Bosh is possibly in the top 10 or 15. So there was little doubt to analysts that this team was going to simply come together and dominate.
Reality has revealed something quite contrary to the expectations of many. The rest of the league took notice of their premature celebration in Miami this summer when Bosh and James signed. And since then, the Heat has been a marked team – villains, of sorts. It is still quite possible that the dynamic trio will win the many championships that they came together to win. But it’s clearly going to take much more effort than they originally thought.
Now here’s what this has to do with The Upbeat Dad. Every day, all over the world, people get together to start relationships. Some end up at the altar in marriage. Some produce children. But whatever results, people enter relationships to live happily ever after.
But then comes reality – living together, paying bills, dealing with each others’ moods, raising kids and just living the day to day life. “Happily ever after” is not how many of these stories turn out. It takes much hard work to make these relationships successful.
Fortunately, many couples are able to work through the kinks, for lack of a better term, and are able to make a beautiful life together. They have kids and do live happily ever after. Others are able to work out their differences with the help of family and friends or professionals, such as marriage counselors. Then others, despite their best efforts, are not able to reconcile their differences. These relationships end in disappointment. And especially when kids are involved, it can be quite challenging.
Sometimes what we see in reality is quite different from what we envision. Still, because we want to succeed in our relationships, I think we should look to make the best of each situation that arises. It would be quite hasty if the Heat should look to trade James or Bosh or even Wade during their first season together, just because it’s taking them some time to develop the championship form that’s expected.
In like manner, it would be quite hasty to get into a marriage and then decide to throw in the towel because the reality of being in the relationship isn’t quite as simple as originally thought. Particularly when kids are involved, I think our relationships are worth fighting for. We don’t quit simply because we’re faced with adversity. Instead we should face the adversity head on and make the best of the situation.
I hope that you’re able to draw a parallel between the simple sport of basketball and the real life situations that we all deal with each day. Who knows just what the Miami Heat will accomplish with their three stars? They’re working out the kinks as best as they can. That’s their work to do.
In our homes we have much more control. We can make the changes necessary to make our relationships work. We can change the ways that we react to the difficult situations that arise at times. We can change our approach to resolving conflict. We can work together to raise our kids to become happy, well-adjusted young people.
Let this post encourage you to do what you need to do to ensure that things in your home are what they ought to be.  And when all is said and done, you’ll raise a family of champions.
All the best to you and yours.

The Upbeat Dad

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