I’m pretty certain most people wouldn’t look at me and think about sports. Let alone think I might know enough about any particular sport to try and write about it. Contrary to my outer “girly girl” appearance, I happen to be a big fan of several sports, especially football. Living in the Dallas area it has been quite the season of disappointment for Cowboy fans. And that’s putting it nicely! As I was preparing to write this article a shift happened with America’s team. They fired their coach and got a new one. It happens a lot in sports (I am aware), but rarely in the middle of the season. Two games in with the new coach in command, and suddenly it looks like a completely different team. They look disciplined, prepared, confident in their leader, and thus were able to win the last two games. One very important characteristic of winning teams is that the players have complete confidence and trust in their coach. This is so crucial because when the coach calls a risky play they trust his decision, do not question him, and carry out the play with confidence and precision. They trust that he knows more than them, that he can see the bigger picture and that he is leading them towards victory.
This got me to thinking about life. It’s amazing what happens when we fire our old coach and get a new one. A little over a year ago I was in a place in life where I felt like I was having a losing season. I knew something big needed to change but wasn’t sure what it was. And then it hit me. I needed a new coach. I had been living with myself as the coach and working my hardest to follow the law, but I kept coming up with a mark in the loss column. I was exhausted, worn down and ready for my “Christian life” to look like another team. You know, the teams that look like they breeze through life with little to no effort and win every game. I studied these other teams and found out what their coaching secret was. It was the Holy Spirit. So I fired myself as coach and appointed the Holy Spirit to be my life coach forever. This coaching change not only changed my life, but completely changed the direction of my team … my family.
The most significant change in my life since I experienced this coaching change is confidence in my coach. It’s really easy to step out in faith and make big decisions when I’m not the one calling the play, and I’m playing for a coach who has never lost a game. I have full confidence in the Holy Spirit and know that He will never call a bad play, make a mistake, or cause me to lose the game. He sees the big picture, can maneuver me through some tough opposition and get me across the goal line. We are currently in the middle of an international adoption, and let me just say that we have definitely come up against some tough opponents. Satan does not like adoption and has brought his best defense to this game on every play. Yet, with the leadership of the Holy Spirit we are advancing closer and closer to the goal and soon will see victory.
This brings to mind a story in the Bible of a man who had complete confidence in his coach. His name was Abraham. Abraham had a son named Isaac whom he loved very much. Abraham had waited forever to have a son, and he loved him more than he could even express. But as much as Abraham loved his son Isaac, he loved God even more and had chosen to make Him his coach for life. So one day God called a play that would make most people want to fire the coach. He asked Abraham to take his son Isaac, place him on the altar and kill him as a sacrifice to the Lord. Abraham loved his son more than anything but he trusted in his coach so he took his son and placed him on the altar. He raised his knife high into the air, and just as he was about to thrust it downward God yelled “STOP!” God told Abraham he wanted Isaac to live and not die, and that he now knew that Abraham loved Him because he was willing to sacrifice his only son. Abraham was so thankful and he held his son and cried. Then suddenly Abraham noticed a ram that was caught in some bushes. God had sent a ram to be sacrificed, so that Isaac wouldn’t have to be. He gave Abraham just what he needed in just the right time. This story is so powerful to me. What an example Abraham is of having confidence in his coach. He trusted that God saw the bigger picture and didn’t question what the Lord called him to do. In the end Abraham’s faith was increased and God knew that He had his heart.
The cool thing about having the Lord as our coach is that He will never quit, and He will never fire me as a player! That’s a good thing because, although I’ve made some huge strides this past year, I still have a ways to go on learning to be coached. I still like to argue with the coach on occasion and sometimes I even try to call my own plays. In His loving kindness though He patiently waits as I “act a fool” and then puts me back in His game when I decide I’m ready to play again. Thankfully, there’s lots of grace and mercy in this game for me. After all, GRACE is the game plan. So ask your self this question today: “Who’s been calling the plays?” Ask the Lord if maybe it’s time for a coaching change. Because if you’ve been calling the plays, it’s time to let the One who wrote the plays become your head coach. He’s the ultimate play caller, the ultimate play writer and the ultimate quarterback Who has been waiting to throw you a touchdown pass your whole life. All you have to do is give Him the ball.