October 29, 2012

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs on your head have all been counted. Don’t be afraid therefore, you are worth more than many sparrows.”

– Matthew 10:29-31 (Holman Christian Standard)

Baggage, every athlete we work with brings some of it with them each day. It doesn’t matter whether we coach on the professional, college, high school or youth level, we are responsible for young men and women with baggage in their lives. They may come from homes and environments where hurt is a way 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. As coaches, I wonder how many of us understand what a critical role we play in the lives of our athletes. 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 in God’s eyes. 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 each of us and the athletes we coach? Enough for His Son to die on a cross so that we canhave the opportunity to live with Him for eternity.I challenge you to find the team picture of the lastgroup you coached. Look at the faces in that picture and realize that God loves and values each person there. Realize also that as a coach, God has placed you in a position to change lives.

Lord, thank you for the opportunityYou have given me to coach. Help me to see the athletes I coach through Your eyes. Give me the wisdom and insight to see their baggage and to do all I can to help them overcome it.Amen.

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