Posted by: Jo | February 21, 2014

The Ultimate Coach

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly…” (1 Corinthians 9:25 – 26)

image The Olympic Games is a worldwide event which is eagerly anticipated by thousands of people around the world and with much excitement and equal anticipation, is viewed on the television by masses of others who strain to see the athletes compete for those coveted medals. Just like countless others I have been watching with fascination the daring ski jumps, the terrifying speed skating, the exciting hockey games and then my favourite viewing of all, the graceful couples who glide like beautiful ballet dancers across the ice. As I was watching, I began to notice the important role the coaches played in the lives of the athletes. The last person to speak to the athlete before he or she embarked upon the performance of a lifetime, was the coach. Family were often seen willing on their loved ones from the stands, but the coach seemed to have precedence over them. I noticed whispered words and in some cases hugs. There seemed to be an incredible bond between the performing one and the one who had trained them.

Some coaches I learned later had once been star athletes themselves and were willing to pass on all they had learnt to the younger athlete. Occasionally during a race or a performance, the camera would zoom in on a coach’s face and the expression on that face was quite startling. It seemed that every muscle was silently urging the athlete to remember all the skills, all the arduous practising, all the wonderful tips on how to execute their particular gift, so that they would satisfy themselves that they had done the very best they were capable of doing and of course to satisfy the coach that nothing had been left out to achieve excellence.

Life itself is often referred to as a race, in Scripture, and we are described as the athletes running in that race;

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

image To prevent life from becoming an aimless wandering with no direction; an unfulfilling ramble with no fixed goal; wasted talents not being honed, we all need that ultimate coach. Our ultimate coach, Our Heavenly Father, is already waiting to fill that role. He is available to all those who call upon his name. Our ultimate coach knows exactly each skill he has personally bestowed upon us and knows the exact spiritual exercise we need to follow to perform as he created us.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3)

image Just as those Olympic athletes need to heed their coaches so too do we need to listen carefully and to check out what parts of our spiritual life need exercising. How much time do we spend with our coach in prayer? Do we seek him when we come to a fork in the road and are confused as to which way to go? How often do we put into practise the gifts he has given us for his glory?

Many of the Olympic athletes’ faces shone as they confidently crossed that finishing line, knowing they had given everything they had to be victorious. We too can experience that wonderful feeling of success when we allow ourselves to be coached by the Ultimate Coach and we will be able to exclaim like Paul;

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24)

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Responses

  1. Thanks Jo. That was very pertinent right now for me. I sometimes run off ahead of God and then and then am frustrated and bewildered when I find myself tripping and falling on the ” ice or track” !

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  2. Jo you are so amazing, how you take things and make us see the connection right in front of us. We couldn’t ask for a better coach. He is a great coach !!!!Just Jenniferlook at yourself as a great example!

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  3. Thanks Jo – thoughtful connection and good encouragement. And, we do need ask God to help us know what gifts he has given us – and run the race He has given.

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