I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
– Psalm 32:8 (ESV)
In my opinion, the most important profession in the world is parenting and the second is teaching. As coaches, that statement should stop up in our tracks every time we hear it. To me, coaching is teaching and our athletes often view us as parent figures . When I look into the rearview mirror of my own experiences, without question, the most effective coaches were also the best teachers. While I never played for a coach who didn’t want to win, the coaches I appreciate the most are the ones who wanted more for me. Not only did they want me to be the best athlete I could be, they also wanted me to be the best person I could be. Because of what they taught, I became a better son, a better brother, a better father, a better husband, and a better citizen. Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden said this, “I wanted my players to know I truly cared about them. I loved them all. I didn’t like them all, and some of them didn’t like me all the time, but today I’m closer to many of my players than I was when they played for me.”
God cares about us too! Through His Word, God teaches us with wise instruction and counsel. He gives us the tools we need to make good decisions on whatever life may throw our way. Too often however, we want to do it our own way. Scripture says we are like the horse, restless to move ahead without command. Even worse, we are like the mule that refuses to go, even when directed. While God will always love us, He doesn’t always approve of the decisions we make. When we aren’t in tune with what God is teaching, He can and will discipline us to bring us back in line. Why? Because He cares and loves us more than we can comprehend. While we tend to focus on this life, God is coaching us to be citizens of heaven.
Father God, thank You for caring about me and loving me. Help me see the wisdom of Your teaching. Teach me to follow Your guidance and counsel. Help me accept Your discipline when I try to do it my own way. Amen.