I just came back from a weekend hockey tournament. Let's see, I must've sat through at least six or seven hockey games and no, I'm not sick of hockey! Kidlet Three played in three games but several of his friends were in the same tournament so we watched their games, too.
At those tournaments you see all kinds of people. Seriously. Who needs to go to a mall to sit and watch people. Drop by a sporting event to see the uptight, the parents-living-their-childhood-again-through-their-own-children, the encouragers, the siblings that were dragged to the event and are bored, and the list goes on. I saw them all this weekend. And, the atmophere around those people is really different.
The man that sat in the bleachers pretending he was a play-by-play sports announcer caused me to get up and move to a different seat. The atmosphere around him was kind of like a know-it-all. His interpretation of the game was quite different than what I was seeing.
Then there was the parent who commented on what each player was doing wrong...out loud. And my kid's name was mentioned during that commentary. For the second time, I got up and moved. The atmosphere around that parent didn't have any life in it...was very depressing.
Finally I sat by another hockey mom that grabbed my arm when I sat down and she said "oh I'm so glad you chose to sit by me, let's cheer these boys on to a win!" Her words were like a gentle breeze on a sunny spring day! A pleasant atmosphere just two rows away from the negative commentary parent.
Stick with me...this is not a weather report, I promise.
That mom and I shouted encouraging words throughout the game. I talked her into standing with me at the beginning of each period when the boys would skate out to take the drop of the puck. Like we were "honoring" their efforts and we appreciated what they were doing in the game. Several of the boys gawked at us from the ice but we smiled and clapped like fools.
There was a time during the game when the action/puck was right in front of where I was sitting. One of the opposing team players and our team player fell on top of each other and the opposing player held onto the hockey stick of our team player. The nerve of that kid to hang onto that stick so our little buddy couldn't get into the game to play. Something came over me and I found myself standing up and shouting "shame on you!"
Talk about atmosphere change. Hilarious laughter broke out as all of the parents chortled back at me "you said shame on you at a hockey game!" I'll never live this down. Those parents and spectators will remember this probably all season long!
Something bigger happened, though. The atmosphere became lighter and there was less tension after their laughter. I certainly don't intend on making a fool of myself by yelling goofy things like that at each game, but for today, I'm okay with what I did.
At the end of the game, the other hockey mom and I stood to clap despite the fact the score showed the team had lost. It was so cool, most of the other parents stood to clap, too. Not all of them but most did. The atmosphere at that time was one of pleasantness. Despite the disappointment in a loss there was a pleasant atmosphere.
Guess who didn't stand to clap at the end. The Play-By-Play Commentator and the Depressing-Find-Everything-Wrong parent. Their atmosphere just couldn't be penetrated today but I'm holding out for them.
There have been times in the past, when parents and spectators have gotten caught up in a negative atmosphere during a game. It has happened in Kidlet One's soccer games, Kidlet Two's baseball and hockey and now in Kidlet Three's hockey games. Like a feeding frenzy, the negative comments start flying out of the mouths toward the referees and even their own kids. It is like a virus, spreading and affecting the whole sporting event when that happens.
It even happened at a Minnesota Wild hockey game that Husband, Kidlets and I were at. The Wild were playing terribly and losing a game they should be winning. All those around us were spewing obscenities and negative comments toward the players/team. Husband and I looked at each other and without saying a word to each other, stood to our feet and started yelling "We believe in you....let's go Wild...let's go....you can do it....go..go...go". Believe it or not...I tell you the truth. The atmosphere changed almost instantly. At first there were a few that changed the negative to the positive. Then more and more began cheering and encouraging instead of condeming. And, the Wild ended up setting a record that night. They scored the most goals in the shortest amount of time and they won that game. I believe it was because the atmosphere changed.
I'm an Atmospheric Pressure Changer. Hopefully for the positive. I'm sorry for the times I've been a negative influence.
The Lover and Creator of All lives inside of me and He is the One that causes Atmospheric Pressure Changes. God, alive and well, lives inside of me. I want to be His leaking vessel. That He would leak out of me in every place I go.
To change atmospheres
To change people
Thank you, Lord, that you've made me an Atmospheric Pressure Changer! It's all about You!