January 2019   
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Listen To The Coach

When I was in high school, I enjoyed playing football.  Enjoy may be too meek a word, I was one of those nuts who worked weights every day, worn ankle weights all day long, ran every day, ate all the calories I could to gain weight, and even worked my forearms against trees to callus them up for hitting.   I always gave everything I had and was absolutely spent when it was over.  Coming into my junior year, I had already torn my left knee and had surgery to remove the cartilage (the ligaments were beyond repair) during my freshman year, and had torn the right knee in my sophomore year.  Coming into that junior year I was still wanting to be a running back and was sadly # 2.  Then the day before our first game, the coach announced that the right guard on offense had a season ending ligament tear the day before.  He looked at all the #2 running backs and asked a simple question.  Who wants to be a first string guard instead of a second string back?  It did not take long for my brain to register the phrase “first string” and my two year career as a right offensive guard and defensive linebacker began immediately.   Though I had a heart to be a running back, I had a greater heart to be a part of the team where I was needed instead of where I wanted to be.  I never ran the ball, except when I had interceptions from my defensive position, and I only scored one touch down… but I paved the way for many others by clearing the field for the running back behind me.  The joy was just as great when I saw the referee’s hands go up because I cleared the way, as it was when I crossed the goal line myself.  In the kingdom of God, we can’t all be the hero who carries the ball, some of us need to be the one who prepares the way.  The joy comes when you set your mind to be part of the team and leave the pride on the sidelines.  Paul says it better in 1 Cor 12:12-18 “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ…14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.”  Jesus is the Coach, will you let Him place you where He needs you?  Or will pride keep you on the sideline pouting?