“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.
– Matthew 18:20
The Christmas season is always a time of reflection and memories. This year is no different. Sometimes I wonder where the time has gone? Has it really been forty-one years since I started coaching? One of my favorite Christmas movies is, It’s a Wonderful Life. Like Jimmy Stewart, our lives go by quickly and there are times when we question if we’re making a difference at all. As I think back over my athletic career, there are so many people that have poured into me with encouragement and guidance. I think of my first coaching job at Greenwood High School which gave me an opportunity to work for the legendary Pinky Babb. Coach, you taught me to take pride in doing the little things. It drove me crazy at the time, but as I grew wiser, I found myself trying to do it just like you. My first head coaching job at Pelion High School. The people of that community had never had a football team and I was privileged to start the program. You taught me how special a small town can be and how when you pull together for something you want, great things can happen. Coach John Daye, at Brookland-Cayce High School taught me that when life is unfair, you say thanks and move on. Coach, you demonstrated how to handle disappointment with class. At Columbia High School, Coach Charlie Macaluso modeled the value of doing the best you can do one day at a time. What happens tomorrow is dictated by what we do today. Coach, I was watching. Without question, each of these experiences made a difference in my life. In part, I am your disciple.
Discipleship is often a meaningless word to us, but Jesus gave us marching orders from God in what is called the Great Commission. Jesus commanded us to make disciples and to teach them to obey everything that He taught. That should get us pumped! We should get out of bed each morning excited about the opportunity to tell people about Jesus, to make disciples for the Lord and to be true disciples ourselves. However, too often we look at worldly areas to measure our success. If we really want to make a difference in the lives of others, we need to be intentional in the area of discipleship. Take a moment to reflect on the people who have discipled you over the years. Then, truly commit yourself to making disciples of those you work with and meet each day.
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me the way and for putting people in my life to keep me on the right path. Make me mindful today of the responsibility I have to disciple others. Amen.