Put Me in the Game, Coach!

Unencumbered time is a luxury when you become an adult.  Your day is filled with lists of things to do –crossing out those that have been done, circling those you want to get done today, and moving other things to tomorrow’s list–only to do the same thing all over again tomorrow.

There were so many things on my mental checklist today. I washed and folded a few loads of laundry, listened to Pandora as I folded said laundry, lurked on Facebook, took a short nap, and walked my usual path to spend a few minutes in the huddle with my Life Coach.

As I walked, spirit and flesh were in lock step. I called as I do each day, and he answered immediately. No busy signals, dropped calls, or recordings to say that the number I had reached was no longer in service. My Life Coach was on the line listening to my pleas to put me in the game. I didn’t feel like I had an assignment today. Who did I inspire, who did I help, what purpose did I serve?  In my mind, the answer to those questions is no one, no one, and none, but perhaps I’m mistaken. After all, I don’t have the game plan; Coach does. What happens today is ultimately NOT about me.

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. ~John 3:30

I met a few people along the path today — a man from a neighboring community who walks every day.  He never looks me in the eye, but today he did.  I smiled. He paused and smiled back — not a toothy smile like mine, but a slight, pursed lip, tickle at the right corner of his mouth kind of smile. He won’t end up on the cover of  a magazine with that one, but with practice, he might score a few points in the game of life.

Then I met a couple who had just come up the hill very slowly.  At first I thought they were apprehensive because I had my dog in tow, but I soon noticed that the young man donned in a jacket and shorts was also wearing two knee braces.  I moved to the edge of the path to give them room, for which they were grateful. They waved, and I flashed my default toothy smile again. The rest of our three-mile trek was uneventful. I listened to rustling leaves and watched squirrels scurry hither and yon, but there were no more people until the end.

Finally, I met a runner dressed in a black track suit. His hair was mulletized and kept pace with his stride and the decade it was borrowed from.  His steps were unsteady and painstaking as if his next step might be his last. I smiled, but not the default toothy one, this one bore concern. It beckoned him to call for a time out, but he ignored my suggestive smile and trudged on. In that moment, God told me to also keep moving, so I did. If that guy fainted along the path, I was not meant to be part of that game plan. I think I was just destined to ride the bench today.

What I did realize, however, is that some days you make the big plays, and other days you ride the bench. I spent five straight days  in the game. Thursday  was a double-header, and Friday felt like sudden death. Today was my well-deserved day of rest.  Perhaps on my day off, I did inspire someone, help someone, or serve a purpose today. If you’re reading this message, you’ve inspired me to keep writing, helped me to become a better version of me tomorrow, and served to help me follow my passion — a purpose you may not have realized until now.

So instead of asking “What’s the game plan,” rise up, fall to your knees in humble supplication and say “Put me in the game, Coach!” Trust me; he’ll do it even when you’re warming the bench.


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