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Monday, May 23, 2016

Coach, Janitor, and Hope

Life sometimes leaves us feeling like we may as well admit defeat.

In the race of life, everyone is ahead, nearing the finish line, while you feel as though you've only taken a few pointless steps. You feel you may as well stop, grab some water, and stay by the wayside to watch the others cross the line you once hoped to reach, the line that once seemed attainable.

Your coach sees you. He races over and tells you to get your head in the game, reminds you that you are capable, and explains that it’s not over, but you flounder in your self-pity and wave him away, unable to grasp that he sees your worth and believes in you.

Time after time you speak “I can’t” into existence and ignore the one who has trained you and knows that you can. You give up. You quit the team. Your coach is left watching you walk away.

Strangely, this coach doesn't move on to the next best. You've moved on with life, and years of hopelessness have gone by. You've somehow stumbled into a position of teaching, because you believe others are teachable. You believe they'll reach success. You begin to place your hope in others, because that fulfills you, but the very thing that makes you authentic has been placed on a cold backburner to sit stagnant.

Some weeks are good. When the ones you teach fly, you soar. When the ones you teach fail, you flounder. This roller coaster of emotion leaves you lacking true happiness.You begin to long for your own finish line. 

Your running coach never gave up on you, even after all these years. You wouldn't recognize him anymore. You don't see him anymore. This coach has moved selflessly into the position of janitor.

When you weren't aware, he gently plunged a white towel into water and cleaned the slate you'd written over and erased so many times. He became a servant for your sake. He took the lesser position in hopes that he would one day reach you, in hopes that you would one day place your trust in him again so that he could coach you in the thing that made your heart pound, your palms sweat, and your body move forward, one foot in front of the other until you sensed a pattern and comprehended the rhythm.

You'll attain hope when you trust in your coach again. You'll attain hope, and one day, you'll reach that longed-for finish line with joy.

Jesus is coach. Jesus is janitor. Jesus is hope.

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