Can't you see it now? A coach stands before her team at the front of the season. Last year, they were the talk of the town--and not in a good way. Her gaze shifts from one to another. Rhonda, a tall, lanky girl, has a hard time walking and chewing gum at the same time. Jen has boundless energy but little talent. Shy and reserved, Erin finds it difficult to come out from behind her classmates' shadows. Sheri, Kathy, Ann, Melissa, and Emily Dawn, ED for short, are decent athletes but too easily distracted by the newest movie or a hot new tune. What's a coach to do? What can she say to make a difference?
Break away. Try this. Patty is nearly fifty and just a little plump; the pudge sneaking up ever-so-slightly over the years. An athlete in her high school and college days, she could have been a stand-in for the Energizer Bunny. She strove for excellence in everything: school, sports, her faith. But that was then. This is now. With the kids gone, the world screeches to a halt. She is tired; slightly disoriented. She wants off the merry-go-round. And yet, something deep inside stirs. She wants to excel once more. She yearns for the endorphin rush earned from a hard workout. She wants to feel her ponytail swish rhythmically as her pace increases, the ground blurring underfoot. She wants to feel alive, vibrant even. It's been so long.
Then there is Hannah. Sitting on her bed, she looks to her nightstand and the book placed there. It is angled and looks artistically arranged. With the lamp and vase of flowers, it makes for a nice display--just like in the magazines. "Is that dust?" she muses, reaching absentmindedly to wipe the cover. The leather-bound book feels nice in her hand, so much so that she strokes the binding and admires the gold-edged pages. She lifts the book to her nose hoping she can still smell the crisp, fresh scent of a new volume. She can. But wait. When was the last time she opened it to read? The pages were not worn from use. Where to begin? Her thumbs gently separate the pages, her eyes landing on these words: "And you. . .acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever" (I Chron. 28:9). She pauses and contemplates.
The coach. The team. The woman. The seeker. Every person, every situation calls for a conscious decision; a decision to give yourself wholeheartedly to the task. To have a mind willing to serve. To seek He who made you.
What will you decide?