Check your sources

Have you ever had one of those looks from a kid that says, “You do not know what you are talking about,” even when you did know exactly what you were talking about?  I have experienced it regularly, but received it yet again at practice the other night.

5th grade boys basketball practice.  It is far enough away from our home, that it doesn’t warrant dropping our son off and then driving back to pick him up later.  I just stay and observe practice for the hour and a half.  I usually keep my mouth shut so as not to interfere with the coaches and their objectives.  Periodically, I will say something to my son about his play or techniques.

Shorty listens to me.  He learned from his older brother, ‘Mom does know what she is talking about when it comes to basketball.’  Our current 9th grader would never listen to me when I gave him basketball advice.  He didn’t think I knew what I was talking about either.  He shared with his brother that he ‘learned that the hard way’.  My boys didn’t ever see me play, and now that I am older and have so many responsibilities, I really do not play, ever, so how are they suppose to know?  Anyway, Speedy told Shorty that after a few years, he decided to try some of the things I was telling him.  Then he realized, ‘Hey, I’m making almost all of the points for our team!’  Duh!

Back to practice.  I decided to go out of my way to help a young man at practice who was obviously struggling.  They were running a play, over and over and over to kind of get it in the boys’ heads.  The defense knew the play so instead of playing true defense, they were overplaying to cause difficulties during the play.  This particular boy’s defender was actually playing defense between his player and the side-line, instead of his player and the basket.  The path to the middle of the key was wide open!  But the young man kept pushing against his defender to get out into the wing position to catch the ball and run the play.  He was kind of missing the point…….that the ball needs to go into the hoop.  (Yes, I understand that they are practicing the play, but when your defender is going to cheat like that, you sometimes, several times, have to burn them to keep them honest on the court.  You have to use your head in practice too.)

During a break, I mentioned those thoughts to this young man.  He completely blew me off.  I could read in his face and his body language that he had no intention of following my counsel.  And he didn’t.  He continued to fight and push against his defender the rest of the practice.

ya….he looked like that.

or like this.

Then this morning, I began to wonder.  Do we do that to our Heavenly Father, or the prophet, or our bishop or a well meaning friend?  Do we receive proper counsel, righteous counsel, counsel that will eternally help us and our family and then just blow it off because we do not think it will work or we discount the source it is coming from?  Probably more likely, we have received inspiration, or revelation and thought that it would not work or be beneficial so we have blown it off.  Certainly that has happened to me.

Here is a classic example:  School had just ended a week earlier.  I had the thought that we should change the kids’ elementary school.  We had been attending the current elementary school since we had moved into the area.  I liked our teachers.  I do not like change, especially where children are concerned.  We were in a routine.  ‘That’s a stupid idea,’ I thought.

Next week:  ‘You should change the kids’ elementary school.’
‘That is just nuts!  What a dumb idea!’

Next week:  ‘You should change the kids’ elementary school.’
‘That is so crazy!  I had this thought last week and I thought it was stupid then…….Hey!  Wait a minute!  I have had this thought three times and each time I have thought it was stupid.  This isn’t my thought….’  Then I began entertaining the idea (not in a pleasant way, much more with an attitude…)  ‘Where would they go anyway?!!’  Then another school popped into my head, the one, of course, where I complained that people who attended that school must be out of their minds to drive so far away.

But I began to do my research.  I called the school, met the principal, toured the school, and we made the change, which happened to be a huge blessing and benefit to our family.

The point is, we need to be able to recognize valid sources of information and then listen to them and apply their counsel.  Our Father in Heaven does not intend us to navigate this life blindly or without assistance.  In our day and age where so many voices have opinions and platforms from which they spew them, we must find the truth and the information that will bring us peace and happiness.  That information comes from a loving Heavenly Father who has set up a system whereby we can know truth, recognize it and train ourselves to act upon it.  Look to the scriptures.  Look to the prophets.  Learn how the Holy Ghost works within you.  Measure those thoughts you have against the scriptures and the prophets and the feelings you have inside about them.  Remember that all that is good comes of God….all that is wicked comes from Satan (Moroni 7:12).

Just because our basketball advice is coming from some old, fat mom, doesn’t mean that it is wrong!  Check your sources kid!

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