I am not a sports fan but I will use a sports analogy anyway to kick off this today’s post.
A quarterback walks off the field to get the play from the coach. As he heads back to the huddle he realizes that another play has a better chance of gaining yardage. So he calls the different play (an audible) and runs it.
Does it work or not? That doesn’t matter!
You see the coach’s intent for that one play was not necessarily to gain yardage or at least not a lot of it anyway. He had noticed that when he called the intended play earlier in the game there was a problem in the offensive line that needed attention. The problem was that he needed to see it again to know exactly how to fix it.
It made no difference what the quarterback thought because his objective was not the same as the coach’s for that play and the coach is in charge. The quarterback saw a few extra yards gained. The coach, however, saw a problem that, if not corrected, was going to potentially cause a loss of yardage and possibly an injury to one of the players.
The quarterback saw a few extra yards gained. The coach, however, saw a problem that, if not corrected, was going to potentially cause a loss of yardage or possibly an injury to one of the players.
We are all that quarterback in this life. From our perspective and because we are guided by our goals and desires, we believe we are doing what is best. (Best for us I mean).
But we can only see the perspective from behind the offensive line (sometimes from the defensive line) and not the entire playing field as the coach can. In addition, a good and caring coach cares about all of the players on the field and not just his team.
As such his priorities are going to be different than the players who just want to win.
It’s not that the players of opposing teams don’t care for each other. They are just engulfed in what they are wishing to achieve and thus are not focused on the game as a whole.
Each player keys in on what he believes to be a threat to him and to those whom he is supposed to protect. He also considers what he can do to help obtain victory.
The coach must look at all aspects of the game. If his team wins, he must ensure that there is a certain amount of respect that resonates from his players. He does not want his players ridiculing the other team for losing just as the losing team’s coach does not want his players to be petty and display bad sportsmanship toward the winners.
God is our coach.
He sees the entire field during the game of life and cares about His players on and off the field. He wants these players to grow in every way and not just in athletic abilities. As a result, He tests us with losing so we can learn sportsmanship and respect.
He will leave us on the bench at times because it is time for someone else to have a chance to play. He will let us win sometimes as individuals to learn that perseverance and hard work pay off. He also allows us to win as a team so we can learn success is always a collective effort.
As I look back over my career struggles and triumphs, I realize that I don’t ever get to see the whole field while I am on it. I am expected to trust in the coach even when his reasoning makes no sense to me. I am expected to play my best and believe that the plays the coach is calling may have reason and implications that are beyond my limited scope of awareness and understanding.
My goal is to win. His goal is to make me a winner. Victory in this game of life is hollow if we don’t ever learn that just playing the game was the accomplishment of success and having a coach that loves us enough to teach us to trust him is the triumph.