Following one of the more encouraging practices with my first bar clearance, I was hit with one of the toughest practices thus far.  It was one of those practices that nothing feels right, mentally or physically, and though I have been through hundreds just like it knowing that they are not indicators of long term success, that information seemed to slip my mind and I found myself highly discouraged!  The more discouraged I got, the further off target I became in my vaults… If I had taken a moment to recall what I had learned throughout years of sport I would have stopped and finished out the practice with basic steps such as drill work.  But the stubborn, still new, Mallory decided that I was a fighter and could push through it.  Not until the wind was knocked out of me as I lay on the mat, did I decide (or I should say ‘was forced’) to take a moment to humbly say “maybe I should just put it away”.  Sometimes we can do more damage in our training showing how tough we are, when in reality the ‘tough’ thing to do is to step back.  I forget that I’m still new to this whole thing, and like a two-year old trying to sprint, my mind goes faster than my legs and I find myself face first on the ground.  And that’s where a great coach steps in… before the crying starts, he looks at you and tells you to get up, start walking again, and giggle at the fall.  Like the parent, they know you’re going to fall again, but they train you to get up and move on without being hindered.  Having experienced this in sport so many times, I have begun to recognize the parallel in my walk with Jesus as well.  I have seen first-hand the importance of having a person(s) who can see the bigger picture when we have stumbled and are face down on the ground; the person who is a mentor, or in a sense a ‘spiritual coach’ who helps us reach the potential God has provided us.

1Thessalonians 2:11-12 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy write to the church in Thessalonica “you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”  The people needed encouraging from a ‘father’ to walk!  It is a concept that has been around since the foundation of faith.  Let us learn from them and from our own experiences, and seek to have a coach and also be a coach in one another’s lives.

Going back to basics, I had a very encouraging practice yesterday, and it felt good to ‘walk’ again!  Thanks coach!