So what in the world are these boys doing? A new form of workout? Getting bitten by bugs? Having a contest to see who can jump the highest? But that wasn’t the only strange photo I took this weekend. I happened to be called by this young man to look at what he had done. This was the picture I snapped:
So…anybody got any idea what I was doing and where I was? It was step back into the past for me, one that was so much a part of my life that this blog got its name, Words from Coach D. Yes, this is the high school boys cross country team at a meet in N. Alabama. I was the designated bus driver (not the coach!), and the boys were doing their traditional cheer before the race. For the second photo…keep reading!
The meet is the biggest one I have ever seen, with 6000 runners in 10 or so races. There was a torrential storm before it all began, so the race course quickly became a mud pit. But what I noticed most of all was not the course conditions or even their race times. What I noticed was what the team wanted after the race.
I went around to each runner, and they each began to eagerly tell me a story of excitement or disappointment, depending on how their race went. But they weren’t as interested in any specific pointers I may have given. What they wanted was my time, my ear, my heart. They just wanted to know that I noticed, that I listened, that they were important.
I was struck again by the magic of coaching, but its power, its wonder. But I was further reminded that this is exactly what we all long for–to be listened to, coached, guided, and loved despite our mistakes.
And then it hit me. This is exactly what God offers to us through Jesus. He offers to coach us, to lead us into the truth, to always hear us, and to love us to the end. It is this personal coaching from the Father that has so revolutionized my life. To hear his personal encouragement and guidance has been the key to the healing of my heart. And I believe it is key to every human heart.
By the way…the second photo was an injured runner building a sand structure in the starting boxes! Love it!!