“A Winning Decision,” Friend, Oct. 2015, 8–9
Miranda hurried through the front door, thankful that her house was cooler than the hot summer weather outside. She was sweaty from playing her last soccer game of the season and frustrated because the Teal Turbos had lost. Again.
Mom came into the room carrying a water bottle and a bag of leftover orange slices from the game. “You played a great game. Being goalie is a rough job.”
Miranda had played well—she had blocked a lot of shots and kicked harder than usual. But most of the other girls on her team had never played soccer before, and today made it official: they had lost every game this season.
“I just wish I could be on a team that won once in a while, you know?” A few tears leaked out of the corners of Miranda’s eyes and fell onto her blue-green jersey. As she squeezed her eyes shut, the phone rang.
Mom picked up the phone and after a moment said, “It’s for you.”
“Hi, Miranda? This is Tom, coach of the Chili Kickers. I was watching your game today. You looked great out there.”
Miranda’s heart started beating faster. The Chili Kickers was the best soccer team in the league!
“Our team is going to the regional championship games next month. You played so well today that I want you to come with us as a back-up goalie.”
Miranda’s heart nearly leaped out of her chest. This was her chance to play with a winning team!
“I’d love to come!” Miranda said. They talked for a few minutes about the details before she hung up and ran into the other room to tell Mom. Together they started writing the dates of the practices and games on the family calendar.
Suddenly Mom stopped writing, her pen hovering above one of the calendar squares.
“Uh-oh. Miranda, these games are on Sundays. Here, look.” She pointed to the game schedule and turned to Miranda with a worried frown. “What do you think we should do?”
Miranda’s heart sank, and she bit her lip as she thought about her options. Mom might let her play if she asked, but when she thought about playing on Sunday—and especially about missing church—she got a sick feeling in her stomach. She knew Sunday was for going to church and worshipping Heavenly Father, and she couldn’t really do those things while playing soccer.
“I think I should probably call him back and tell him I can’t play,” Miranda said. She tried hard not to cry. Even though she knew it was the right choice, it was hard to give up something she wanted so badly.
“And you know what I think?” Mom said, giving her a big hug. “I think you are one great kid.”
That Sunday, as Miranda sat in Primary, she thought about the good decision she had made. The coach was surprised when Miranda had called and said she couldn’t play soccer on Sundays. He had tried to get her to change her mind, but she had stuck with her decision. Now, as she listened to the Primary songs and lessons, Miranda smiled. The peaceful feeling in her heart told her that she was in the right place. She’d made a winning decision after all.