What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin?
But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground
without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs
on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid,
you are more valuable to God than a whole
flock of sparrows.
– Matthew 10:29-31 (New Living Translation)
Baggage. Every athlete we work with brings some of it with them each day. It doesn’t matter what level we coach, we are responsible for young men and women with baggage in their lives. They come from homes and environments where hurt is a part of life. Every one of them is looking for something, but they may not even know what it is themselves. The few hours of practice may be the only time they feel significant or receive a word of encouragement. For some, a coach may be the only person who makes them feel like they are worth anything at all. I wonder how many of us truly understand the critical role we play in the lives of our athletes. Sometimes we underestimate our importance in the lives of our players. Not only can we teach them how to shoot a jump shot or lay down a bunt, we can teach them how to believe in themselves, be part of a team and how to bounce back from a tough loss. Each person we coach has value in God’s eyes.
Jesus uses the insignificant sparrow to teach us about our value. It is said that, “God attends the funeral of every sparrow.” Not a single sparrow dies without God knowing about it. The same God who cares about a sparrow also knows how many hairs are on the head of each of His children. Wow! If God cares this much about sparrows and hair, just how much does He care about us and the athletes we coach? Enough for His Son to die on a cross so that we can have the opportunity to live with Him for eternity. I challenge you to find the picture of the last team you coached. Look at the faces in that picture and realize that God places high value on each person there.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me, baggage and all. Help me to see the baggage in the lives of those you have called me to serve. Give me the desire to pour into their lives as You pour into mine. It’s in the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.