Changing Directions

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Lesson 129

Justin lay on his back with his hands behind his head. Birds chirped in the treetops, and the scent of flowers and freshly cut grass filled the air. Suddenly, a shadow fell across his face as his friend and soccer teammate Jeremy stood over him, blocking the sun. Then Jeremy’s hand opened and a handful of grass floated down and landed on Justin’s face, making him cough.

“Hey!” Justin protested.

Jeremy grinned. “You were looking a bit too comfortable. Quit laying around and come get a snack!”

Justin brushed the grass off his face and sat up. The rest of their soccer teammates were on the sidelines, gathered around one of the moms who had brought the after-game drinks and snacks. Jeremy pulled Justin to his feet.

“The snack always tastes better after a win, doesn’t it?” Justin said.

“Yeah. We played one of our best games this morning!” Jeremy agreed. The boys collected their juice boxes and mini muffins then found a seat to watch the little kids’ game that had just started.

“I don’t think those kids have learned about how to spread out and pass to each other yet,” Justin commented as he watched the mob of kids chase the ball around the field.

Jeremy chuckled. “They’re a a little younger than us, so they’re just learning the game. But it looks like they’re having fun.”

“What about that little guy, sitting there pulling grass?” Justin pointed to a small boy who wasn’t chasing the ball like all the other kids.

The boy’s coach noticed him at the same time Justin did and yelled, “Bobby! C’mon, Son! Stand up and try to kick the ball!”

Bobby heard his name and looked at his coach. He smiled and waved.

The coach tried again. “Bobby! You’re playing soccer! Get up and get the ball!”

Bobby dug in the dirt some more then he stood up. “Coach! I found a worm!” He held up the squirming creature proudly. The coach groaned and smacked his forehead, and the parents on the sideline laughed.

Just then, the soccer ball popped loose of all the kicking legs of the other players. It sailed down the field and landed right in front of Bobby.

“Go, Bobby!”

“Kick it, Son!”

“Go score!”

The sideline erupted with everyone yelling at Bobby, who looked too scared to touch the ball. But he dropped his worm and tapped the ball with his foot then kicked it again, and again, and began to run toward the goalie closest to him.

“Uh oh!” Jeremy exclaimed.

“What? He’s doing pretty well! He could even score!” Justin said.

“No, he’s running toward his own goalie!”

Sure enough, the goalie was wearing the same color jersey as Bobby. Both Justin and Jeremy jumped to their feet and ran along the sideline, trying to get Bobby’s attention.

“You’re going the wrong way!”

“Turn around! Turn around!”

But Bobby was too excited to stop now. He didn’t see his own goalie waving his arms and shouting at him to stop. Bobby drew back his leg and kicked the ball with all his might. Smack! The ball sailed toward the goal and over the goalie’s fingers. Bonk! It hit the goal post and bounced back out to Bobby.

“Bobby, don’t shoot! It’s me!” the goalie yelled.

“Bobby, that’s your goal! Go the OTHER way!” the coach bellowed with his hand cupped around his mouth.

Bobby’s eyes widened as he realized he’d almost scored on his own team. He ran to the ball, turned around, and kicked it the other way. The ball rolled toward the players who’d been chasing him, and the game continued.

“Wheew! That was close!” Justin said.

“Jeremy! Justin!” a voice called. The boys turned to see Jeremy’s dad waving at them from the parking lot.

“Time to go!” Jeremy said.

“Race ya to the car!” Justin challenged. The boys sprinted to the car.

“Hi, boys! How was your game?” Jeremy’s dad asked.

“Did you score any goals?” asked Jeremy’s sister, Emily, from the back seat.

“We won!” Jeremy said as he buckled in next to Emily.

As they pulled out of the parking lot, Jeremy looked at the game Emily was playing on her dad’s phone.

“Oh, you’re gonna lose. You gotta jump at the right time!”

“I know! I’m trying!” Emily retorted as she swiped her finger on the screen.

Justin heard the sound of jingling metal. “What happened?”

“Emily’s character hit an obstacle and lost a bunch of coins,” Jeremy answered. “Here, give it to me before you die.” Emily sighed and handed the phone to her brother.

“Jeremy,” his dad said. “You should let Emily play.”

“But Dad, I’m helping her!”

“How is she going to get better if you’re taking it away and doing it for her?” Dad asked.

“He does that a lot,” Emily said.

Jeremy hit the pause button on the game. “Do you really think that, Emily? That I’m always taking over things for you?” Emily nodded.

Jeremy thought about Bobby and how he’d almost scored on his own team until he changed directions.

“I don’t want to be that kind of big brother. I’m sorry, Emily. Here, you take the game, and I’ll show you how to swipe up faster to time your jumps.”

Emily smiled and took the game back. “Thanks, Jeremy. With your help, maybe I can finally pass this level.”

A Fun Part of Answers Bible Curriculum

Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.