A (Mostly) Made Up Story I Told My Kids


Once upon a time many, many years ago, there was a little girl who picked up a white ball with black spots and started playing with it. She decided to try making a game where you couldn’t use your hands. So she started kicking it around and soon other kids started playing.  Quickly a game was created and this young lady named the game soccer.

Soon soccer games started popping up everywhere. To help soccer spread as far and wide as possible, the young lady wrote down how to play soccer in a book called “How to Play Soccer.” With the rules of soccer written down, soon the young lady was forgotten, but soccer became an international phenomenon. Everyone was playing!

“How to Play Soccer” was also an international success.  Copies of the book were being sold as fast as they could be printed. Everyone who loved soccer was given a copy. As generations passed, parents would pass their copies down to their children. It became uncommon for someone not to have a copy sitting around in a drawer or a closet.

But as generations passed, people read the book less and less.  And a few hundred years after the publication of the book, small changes started taking place. First, people decided that hands were okay to use.  Years passed. A group of people decided that goals were unnecessary, so they were removed and the practice spread. Soon the game had evolved into people passing the ball back and forth, declaring they had scored whenever they felt like it.

Interest in the game waned. People played it because their parents did or because their parents expected them too. Some people played out a sense of preserving their cultural heritage, but the passion for the game was largely absent.  Duty had replaced the love of the game.

Then, one day, something happened that changed everything. Two young boys were going on a cruise and their parents had given them a copy of “How To Play Soccer” and a soccer ball. A freak accident happened on the ship and these two boys with their book and ball ended up on a life raft that landed on a deserted island.

Obviously, survival was a primary concern for awhile, but after figuring out how to survive, they were left with little to do. The boys eventually got around to reading the book their parents had given them. Having never really played the game, they read the instructions with a fresh set of eyes. No one was around to tell them that soccer isn’t played like the book stated. And so they played. They fashioned makeshift goals and started, kicking competing against each other. They would spend weeks learning to play against each other.

Then, a miracle happened and the boys were discovered by a passing ship. They were brought back to their home city and reunited with their family. Something strange happened, though, when they returned. They played a different game than everyone else, the one they had learned from reading the book “How To Play Soccer.”

Because they had read the book and did what it said, at first they were ridiculed for playing such a strange game. Others questioned whether it was helpful or relevant to play the game like it was described in the book. But the curious and those who would have never touched soccer before suddenly began to see the fun and the joy of the game. And soon the joy of playing soccer began to spread again, replacing the formalism and tradition of the game it had become.

Soccer became fun again. It was played the way it was always intended thanks to two young boys who had the audacity to believe the book and put it into practice.

Let the reader understand….

Photo Credit: Story Time (B&W) by Meredith Stewart


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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

3 responses to “A (Mostly) Made Up Story I Told My Kids”

  1. Linda Lint says :

    Yes – powerful message here! Wanted to tell you how much I was blessed by your message last night (Friday) at the Come Rest gathering. Also wanted to apologize if I made your beautiful daughter Adrienne uncomfortable when I spoke to her. My ride home was ready to leave before Dick was done speaking so I wasn’t able to speak to you.

  2. Jamie Carter says :

    That’s assuming that How To Play Soccer was written by one author at one specific point and time in one particular cultural setting. The same cannot be said of The Holy Bible. It’s 40 authors compiled the work spanning some 1,500 years. Whole empires rose and fell in that time, the powers of the day changed, as did many cultural practices. When it comes to the New Testament, there are strong indicators that the Epistles were written before the Gospels, Some authors are certainly easily identifiable; but for some we’re not sure who wrote them. At any rate, the originals are non-existent; entirely lost to time. What we have are copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of translated manuscripts from one language to the next to the next; no two alike and each of them with the same clerical errors we often commit today: transposed letters, transposed words, missing letters, missing words, added letters, added words, misspelled words, sentences out of order, entire sections of text: such as the woman caught in adultery seemed to have been added after the fact. Same goes for Mark 16:9-20. While all of us would like to believe that the Bible we have is an exact copy of the second Bible ever produced and therefore as good as the original; the truth is that our Bible is very much removed from the original. Not only that, but there’s the human factor; each of us sees things in different ways and that affects how we interpret what we read. As a left-handed person, I automatically think that I’m doing things left-handed. Someone who’s right handed and reads the exact same passage might imagine the instruction is right-handed. Both of us read the same exact text and came up with two different ideas about how to apply it even though the text never stated the case either way.

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  1. The Bible on a Deserted Island Test | Pursuing Glory - April 9, 2017

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