Coach, Are you ready for another season? For many coaches, the off-season has begun. Instead of games, the focus is now conditioning, strength training, and possibly working with individual players on certain skills. Conferences and clinics are on the way. As coaches know, there’s really no such thing as an off-season.
As exciting as it may be to brainstorm about possible lineups and pitching rotations, to consider what the spring might hold for your team, or to work the phones to get games scheduled and players recruited, some coaches right now are wondering if they have what it takes to make another run at it.
In the baseball preparation, let me encourage you to not lose sight of what is most foundational. What you need most, what it takes to make another run at it, what is required far beyond your technical knowledge of the game, what will matter more than your ability to get the most out of your players, is something experienced by an Old Testament prophet years ago.
Here’s the story:
Sometime around 740 B.C., a man named Isaiah started working on behalf of God to the people of a nation called Judah. His job was going to be a tough one. Judah, the whole nation, was running away from God. Needless to say, God wasn’t pleased. Isaiah’s job was to preach to all those rebellious people, even though they would never respond to the message.
Sound familiar, coach? Isaiah’s job was going to be thankless and seem relatively pointless. But, that was his calling, what he burned inside to do.
God knew it wouldn’t be easy, so he gave Isaiah the preparation he needed.
In Isaiah 6, the prophet had an experience that forever changed his life and ministry. He saw God and God’s incredible holiness. And he was floored. He knew quickly just how different God was from himself. His sinfulness stood in start contrast to the holy and perfect God he saw.
Isaiah was done, since he knew he had nothing to offer God and knew he was just like those rebellious people to whom he was preaching.
But God wasn’t done with Isaiah. In the experience, Isaiah was not only crushed by God’s holiness, but was also cleansed by God’s grace and forgiveness. It was then, and only then, after the crushing and cleansing, that Isaiah was ready for the assignment God gave him.
Coach, here’s the lesson: FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT FROM GOD, YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCE WITH GOD.
Are you ready for another season? Not until you’ve experienced the crushing and cleansing God wants to bring into your life.
Are you prepared for what lies ahead? Not until you’ve been touched by the grace and forgiveness of Jesus.
Your assignment from God might be tough. You might not feel like you have what it takes for another run. You might wonder if there’s any point to it. That’s how Isaiah felt–he knew he wasn’t up to it.
However, after his experience with God, he was ready for his assignment from God.
So, coach, before next season begins, before you brainstorm about lineups and rotations, before you work with your guys, before you go through another day as a leader in your program, have you had an experience with God? You’re not ready for your assignment until then.
Lord Jesus, crush me and cleanse me. I need an experience with you to be ready for my assignment from you. Make it happen, I pray. Amen.