Tuesday, October 5, 2010


My husband is a competitive person. Jerry is crazy about sports .... always has been probably always will be. When I first met him (20 years ago), he played basketball and softball. I loved watching him play and I loved watching him win. That's what sports are all about, right? Winning?

This summer, my husband received an email from our community football league administrator. He asked Jerry to coach a team of 1st through 3rd graders. Knowing the league from our middle boy's sport involvement, my husband was very much aware the league was not about winning. Our community league puts the focus on every child playing every position. There is no score board ... only the scoreboard in the minds of parents and players. That was going to be tough, especially for a guy with a normal focus on winning.

At the first practice, Jerry saw the talent in some kids and the weakness of others. He knew right away the position placement that would win each and every game. That's how Jerry is, that's his strength. He thinks things through from every angle and then knows the best way to achieve the desired outcome. He saw the talent ... and, he made the choice he was called to make. He worked with the kids to be sure everybody was playing in all positions, rotating in and out. Jerry took on this challenge because he realized there was an opportunity to give each child a chance to enjoy sports. After all, they're young. Those with oodles of talent will have multiple opportunities to play lead positions as they get older. We've played several games now and each one has been tough. But ... rewarding. Jerry has said the kids smiles are the best ... he loves knowing some of those kids have been given an opportunity they've never had before ... might never have again.

And ... no one has made this easy for him. I've sat on the sidelines and listened as parents complain that the team isn't winning and that their children aren't getting to play the lead positions. I'm not "downing" those parents. I know where they're coming from ... I've been a parent on the bleachers watching in frustration at other sporting events. So, I understand. It's hard and it's not always fun. But, imagine what it would be like if each parent pulled the plug on the scoreboard in their mind. If their child playing the "choice" position wasn't the most important aspect of the game ...

As Christians, I think we make this same mistake in our everyday life. We don't always make it easy for our brothers and sisters in Christ to make the right decision, the tough decision. I'm guilty of this ... when I overhear a piece of "gossip", a co-worker complaining ... someone talking about the failures and flaws of another person ... sometimes, I take part in those conversations.

If I've learned anything from Jerry's coaching experience this season, it's to encourage not discourage. To make right choices easier not harder.

Ephesians 4:25 "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body."

1 comment:

  1. Awesome analogy...I can't imagine the excitement among those kids to, to have your hubby as their coach knowing he is filled with enthusiasm to encourage each and everyone of them. Great reminder to end your post...It is sad to see Christians divided when we should be united in His love. Blessings.