January 1, 2024

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV)

There is nothing quite like the beginning of a new season. For a football coach, it might be the smell of freshly cut grass as he prepares his team to take the field on the first day of fall practice. For a basketball coach, it may be the shrill of that first whistle letting his athletes know the off-season is history and it’s time to play for keeps. Every sport has its unique sounds and smells which remind us that it’s time for a fresh start. The past is behind us and the future lies at our feet. Our hopes are high and our excitement is difficult to contain.

As coaches, our careers are measured in days and seasons. Each day brings opportunities to pour into the lives of our athletes. Each season we search for the perfect chemistry and team cohesiveness that will make our team successful. To the average fan, the success of a season is often determined by the final number of wins and losses. To God, it will be measured by how we shepherd and lead our flock. When the lights come on this season, will we be ready? Will we be ready to prepare our athletes to excel on the field and in life? Will we be ready to help them become good citizens, good brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters, in addition to being good at their sport? Will we be there for them when they fail or need guidance? Will we give them hope for a season or a lifetime? When the lights come on and the new season begins, will we be difference makers?

Heavenly Father, I want to be a difference maker this season. Give me a renewed desire to pour into the lives of those athletes You have put in my care. I can’t do it in my own strength—I need You if it’s going to get done. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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