A godly coach is a rare but valued blessing in American sports. Our son’s little league coach is one such blessing. His coaching overflows with life lessons that will bear fruit far beyond the baseball diamond. As I listen to his challenges, I know that I am hearing the wisdom of the Holy Spirit right along with the kids.
“There are no spectators here. Everyone has a job.” - Just as each member of a baseball team has a position, each individual has a role to play in life. Our words, our actions and our attitudes all have an impact on the hearts of the people around us. God has given each of us the job of sharing His love with others. There is no time to sit around watching others; our work is ongoing and has eternal consequences.
“Back each other up!” - We are all imperfect people. We will all drop a ball or miss an occasional important play, and we desperately need to know that others are in the game with us and are ready to back us up. And just as we need the support of those around us, we need to be alert enough to back up others when they need us.
“Talk to your teammates. Tell them your intentions.” - The spectacular crash of two eager outfielders going after the same ball is a perfect example of the “collision” that happens when we misunderstand the needs or intentions of others. As a player, we need to step up to the responsibilities that come our way and call out, “I got it!” As a teammate, we must respect the coach’s ability to assign tasks and then listen to the intentions of others.
“Practice lazy; play lazy.” - Sharpened skills, perfected timing and a working knowledge of rules are the results of diligent practice. The game, then, showcases the results of that preparation. The details of our days are the practice field for applying God’s Word. A life lived moment by moment on the wisdom of God will hold together even in the fiercest battle.
It has been a joy to listen to this coach and watch him work with these young men. It has given me a fresh look at the potential beauty of every sport. Today, let’s follow our Master Coach’s admonitions and do everything for the glory of God.
God Bless and GOOOOOO CATS!
Rev. Scott Murphy is the Pastor at the First Christian Church in Russellville.