• Jason Wade


12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 2 Peter 1:12-14

We all have names of people that we could add to this list. People who have invested in our lives and given the ultimate sacrifice of family and free time to make us better. Coaches are some of the most influential people that we encounter growing up on a yearly basis. They are able to see us at our best and in our lowest times. They are able to know which buttons they need to push to make us better and what times they need to stop and lifts us up. And I need you to hear this too, not everyone is cut out to be a coach. Just like any other gift or ability, it is not always true that anyone can coach. Just like an artist has a specific eye and a steady hand to create masterpieces, or chefs are able to take ordinary food and truly make it into a delicacy that people will pay extravagant prices for... coaches have been gifted and called by God with unique gifts and abilities to see outside the lines and dedicate their time to help others become the best athlete, dancer, artist, etc.. they were meant to be in this world. Trust me, just like ministry, coaching is not a simple job and there are more down days than up, but real coaches are not doing it for personal accolades, but to show the world just how amazing their student/player truly can be.

So why do it? Why are they willing to risk their sanity to encourage kids of parents who love them when they are winning and loathe them when they are losing? Why are they willing to face the all of the ridicule and harassment when things seem to go in the opposite way they were planned at the beginning of the season? Simply, because they are about loving the

people that God has given to them to mentor and train. Coaches do have a desire to win... don't get me wrong, but the true coaches see victory in a different way than how the world sees coaching. Yes, every coach does like to hoist the trophy at the end of the day and desires to know that all of the efforts and hard work will pay off in the ultimate accolade. BUT, they also know that in the midst of this life, we are not always going to win every game. They know that some times there is not a fairy tale ending to the season, but they still press on. Coaches love to experience the growth of the people they have invested their time in as they grow up to be men and women in our society who might just remember some of the life lessons learned form their coach. Life is a marathon filled with ups and downs, victories and losses, and I promise you that the coaches I remember the most are the ones that stuck around to walk with us in the toughest times and rejoice with us in the victories. I really wish I could go back and thank all of the coaches that have invested into my life. The ones who say a diamond in the rough, when the rest of the world saw a lump of coal.

Today, we see the same historic example of a coach in the letter Peter writes to the church at large. Peter is charging the church to make sure that we will continue to press on teaching the Gospel, but that we also have to take a moment to look back and recognize the areas that we need to improve. Peter is acting as a coach to the churches that he is continuing to connect with on a regular basis. Just like outstanding coaches who review the basics of the sport with their teams and watch good athletes who can execute the fundamentals consistently well, believers must not neglect the basics of their faith, even as they move forward to study deeper truths. Just as an athlete needs constant practice, Christians need constant reminders of the fundamentals of the faith and how we came to believe in them in the first place. Peter is coaching us to not let go of those foundational principles in our lives because it can cause us to watch as cracks begin to form. As I said before, coaches have been given many different abilities to see what others cannot see in themselves, and the same is true with Peter as he was watching the church begin to grow in numbers, but struggle in developing strong disciples. We have to be open to listen to the voices that are trying to help us succeed and remember that none of us are too great that we cannot learn more and draw wisdom from an amazing coach who sees what we cannot see.

So today I just want to ask you to think about the coaches or mentors that have come and gone throughout your life. Or if you have had the privilege to be a coach, can you think back and remember the lives that you have been able to encourage and help along their journey. It is not easy to take or follow through with correction. Many of us have an idea that what we do is right, but when we humble ourselves and truly take a step back and look at what coaches are trying to show us, we will recognize that their hopes are only to make us even

better. So take the time today to go back and thank a coach that has helped you along the way if you can. Also, take the time to encourage others and be reminded of the blood, sweat and tears of both frustration and joy that have been shed by the people who have invested into your life or the lives of your children. God is faithful to place us exactly where we need to be in this life even when we think we deserve more. I know that I have had some really good coaches and some that were there for a paycheck, but regardless of why they were there, God placed them in your lives for a reason. They may have been able to see one thing or help you overcome one battle that others would have never been able to see. You might have lost every game, but found a way to see that whatever area it may have been in, you found a new passion in your life. Jesus was the greatest coach of all and continues to remind me of my faults and through grace love me even more. The blood, sweat and tears that He poured out on the cross demonstrated for me just how far He was willing to go, even though I didn't fully understand the sacrifice until years later. It's not easy being a coach.. I have done it and I promise they are tough shoes. to stand in at times. But the lives that have been changed because of the men and women who were willing to take the ridicule, will never be the same. Thank you to all of the ones who invested and poured their time, knowledge and heart into making me the person I am today.

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