Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

Feeling Sentimental

Tonight I find myself in a hotel room on the eve of coaching my varsity boys basketball team in the first round of games enroute to a state title. For over twenty years I have coached high school basketball. It has been an exciting journey which has included many titles and trophies including one undefeated season several years ago!

Through the years I have had good teams, great teams, and a couple of awful teams.

I have coached players with incredible skill and potential, diamonds in the rough, and some athletically challenged kids as well. There were willful players with ego and attitude, kids lacking talent but incredible heart, and players with no clue. At times I have yelled at that them, inspired them,  even antagonized them … but I always loved them.

What makes tonight different?

My oldest son is down the hall with three other starters playing video games, talking to his girlfriend, and running plays around in his mind (yup … he’s the point guard). Last Friday night he hit a jumper that sealed our win over the defending state champs in our season finale at home. But that’s not why I am feeling sentimental … proud but not mushy.

One of the other starters next door to me is a Senior. These are his final games. He’s an incredible young man with tremendous character, athletic ability, and maturity beyond his years. He is one of my leading teens in GC Youth Ministry and the one others look to.  Down the hall is another Senior. She plays on our girls team which is here to defend their state title. She is like another daughter to me. Sweet and sassy … opinionated, aggressive athlete, but also very tender. In her room is another Senior. This one bears my name. She is my daughter. These are my final moments of sharing her childhood. From preschool through now I have always been her pastor and her principal. We have always gone to school together. Everyday. In a few months she will get her diploma and be off to college and a new level in her journey into the will of God for her life. I cannot hold back the tears.

These Seniors were Sophomores when God gave me the opportunity to teach their Bible class in school. After a season out of the ministry because of my own sinful consquences … they were my redemption … my second chance … my rebirth.

I am here tonight …. not as a coach or youth pastor  …. not as a school administrator … and not just as a dad bursting with pride.

I am a sentimental man filled with emotion and gratitude for some young people who saw beyond my flaws and allowed me the opportunity to instruct, influence, and impact them. They have no idea how they have impacted me.

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