I am loving the Upward season this year. I feel so focused on the kids that call themselves Boilers. But sometimes I find myself so focused on all of the things they don't know.
As I was going through my undergrad work I always knew that I wanted to work with older kids, like the ones in 4th or 5th grade (I wanted to have at least a slight chance that I would be taller than my students). I liked that they were old enough to have pretty much developed their own personalities and attitudes but young enough to still love school and their teacher (all generalizations, I know). But I loved that you could joke around with them, they took directions pretty easily - when they wanted to, of course. Now don't get me wrong, I love all kids, I love their energy, the funny things they say, their complete honestly and openness.
But sometimes I get frustrated at Upward practice. For example, last night we were trying to teach them how to do a layup drill. At one point I felt like I was trying to teach them the chinese alphabet - underwater - with their ears plugged. Everything has to be so slow and every single little detail explained...then re-explained and slowed down some more...then there is still guiding and re-explaining while the drill is happening. I was getting bogged down with the fact that we couldn't even do a layup drill, at one point I was really struggling. I want to encourage them to have fun and enjoy practice, but I also want to accomplish things and leave feeling like they learned something.
The more I have reflected on this today, especially when I looked back at my original Upward post, I realized that I was missing the point.
*On a side note I am living under the complete understanding that I am God's own personal sitcom. I am sure He spends a lot of His time laughing at me. Loving me, yes, but laughing no doubt.
So on the sitcom-that-is-my-life I am sure God was getting a super deep belly laugh going on, maybe even about to fall off his Holy Lay-Z-Boy, because little did I know, I was putting Him through the same frustration that I was struggling through with the Boilers.
Allow me to explain.
You see at the beginning of this season I knew that these frustrations would come, but God was telling me to love them anyways. I knew that most of the players would have very little basketball experience but I was to love them anyways. So last night as I slowed down the drill and re-explained...I am sure that God was trying to slow me down and re-expain my job at that moment - to love them anyway.
...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:3-5
Thanks for teaching me. I am so proud to be called coach, especially when that means I get to witness to youngsters for you. Give me patience and understanding...keep in the forefront of my mind and heart what I am really meant to be doing - loving in your name. Amen