Tonight, my step-daughter Emma will play her first t-ball game in Polk. I have the honor of being an assistant coach on the team, sponsored by Maurer Photography in Ashland. I also helped coach her soccer team, which just wrapped up an undefeated season on Saturday.
I am having so much fun helping coach her team. I played pretty much every sport growing up – baseball, football, basketball, tennis. I even played hockey for fun for a few years in grade school. I just loved to play sports. I loved the competition, the push to see how well I could do.
As an adult, especially once I turned 30, I haven’t had the opportunity to play sports as much as I would like. But now that all my kids are getting older, I am loving getting to play with them. Going to the park and shooting baskets with them or kicking the soccer ball or pitching a baseball to them. Those moments truly are priceless.
I have always wanted to be a coach. I love sports and I love teaching kids, so it’s a natural fit. I enjoy watching the kids as they learn new skills. I enjoy seeing them as they struggle and then show signs of improvement. Every kick of the ball, every swing of the bat is a learning experience for them. And I love being a part of that. Kids need adults, and not just their parents, to show an interest in them and to help them learn. I feel as if helping kids is part of my calling from God.
We have such an amazing opportunity to make a difference in our world and making a mark on our future. Not by having the best job or driving the fanciest car or having a building named after us. We can positively impact the future by positively impacting children’s lives today. Giving them positive reinforcement and support in their formative years can shape who they are in the future. Never underestimate what you can do in the life of a child.
So when the umpire yells “Play ball” today, I will smile with pride as Emma and her teammates take to the field for the first time. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about having fun and learning important lessons that you can carry with you throughout your life. With each swing of the bat and each wild throw toward first base, I will watch and encourage them and remember what the Bible says about children.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”