Keep on Going
A good coach is there to remind us of our worth, our abilities, and how our role is pivotal to the team, no matter the size. Far too often, athletes look around at others and become quickly discouraged that they “don’t have the same skill set as that person” or they “will never be able to do what he/ she did.”
The truth of the matter is that whether we’re a starter or the last one off the bench, we’ve made the team for a reason. We bring something to the team that no one else has.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says:
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (ESV)
Just as this is true on a team, it’s true in God’s kingdom as well. God sent Jesus to save us. We were lost and separated from God. God’s love for us and grace towards us, which spans from the beginning of time through eternity, was the reason He sent His son to die for us on that Cross.
In John 14:26, Jesus says:
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (ESV)
When Jesus left Earth after saving us, He left a “coach” to help us and encourage us along the journey because He knew it wasn’t going to be easy. In sports, a good coach is there to encourage, teach, and to help recall what was learned in practice when the heat of the battle begins. We don’t always win, it’s not always easy, and we rarely understand why things happen the way they do. However, the coach is there to remind us of our purpose on the team, help us recall information we need, and to realign us when things go wrong.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “never give up.” This term is used every single day by every single coach in every single sport. It’s the rally cry of coaches who understand where we are and why we would wave the write flag of surrender. When all seems hopeless and we’re in the valley, the last thing we could ever dream of is the view from the mountaintop. A good coach will remind his/ her athletes that it may seem hard now, but if they don’t give up it’ll be worth it in the end.
God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all remind us of this daily too. In fact, the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:9: And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (ESV)
Major League Baseball has 162 games, NBA teams play 82 games, and the NFL plays games over 17 weeks. The teams that reap the reward don’t just show up and hope to be successful, but they don’t give up when things get tough either.
On every successful team, there is a leader who reminds the athletes of their purpose, their worth, and their skill set, which is pivotal to the team. God has done the same for us. We may not have the same skills, the same size platform, or the same path as anyone else, but we do have the same purpose.
Just as a team starts as a collection of individuals but comes together to form a team and accomplish something great, so do we as believers. We’re all unique, yet our purpose is to come together as the body of Christ and use our different skills, strengths, platforms, and abilities to glorify Him and shine bright to those who haven’t heard His words. So, as all of our old coaches said to us at one time or another, don’t give up. Get up, get out there, and show the world what you’re made of.
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Michael Schlact is the Field Manager/Player Personnel for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks Professional Baseball team. He was a 2004 3rd round MLB draft pick by the Texas Rangers & has been in professional baseball 13+ years. A native of Marietta, Ga., Michael has a wife, Jillian, & son, Sawyer. The couple is expecting another son in March.
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