I sometimes bemoan the fact that my kids have only gone to a small school. There are so many things they seemingly miss. For example, athletics are hard. We compete against bigger schools who often have deeper resources. That means we are often outmatched.
In my better moments, I am comforted by the fact that situations like this teach them one thing they will need their whole lives—grit. I was reminded of the importance of grit while reading Mark Batterson’s book Win the Day. He writes:
When a ranch dog has puppies, the rancher identifies the smallest puppy—the runt of the litter—by tying a piece of yarn around its neck. After twelve weeks, the rancher gives away all the puppies except for the runt of the litter. Why? As Bo’s dad said, “The runt always has to work harder to survive against its bigger brothers and sisters. Always. The runt becomes the smartest, the fastest, the most determined. Of all the puppies, the runt’s heart is the biggest. The rancher stakes his whole livelihood on that fact.”
I find myself praying regularly, “God give them big hearts; Teach them to work hard; and Lord, please give them grit.” Sometimes it is not what’s been handed to you but what you work for that makes the biggest difference.