Last week, I asked a simple question: Why do you play? Why do you coach?

If I had answered that a few years ago, there would have been only one response: I play to win. Period. There was nothing else for me.

But, God has taken me on an unexpected journey in recent years and it’s changed why I play and coach.

Each Monday, for the next few weeks, I’ll share some of the reasons I believe are worthy reasons to play and coach. In the mix, I’ll have to admit some of the unworthy reasons for playing and coaching, since I’ve come face-to-face with them recently.

Today’s reason to play/coach: I play or coach because I can.

What? Yep, simply because I can. Simply because God has blessed me with the ability and opportunity to do it. Regardless of how well I perform, I play and coach because I am able.

Rather than producing arrogance, this should cause us to kneel before The Lord in gratitude. Of course, you and I realize that not everyone has the opportunity and ability we have been granted.

So, today, this week, when you take the field, do so with a prayer of gratitude to a merciful God whose given you the chance to run, play, hit, field, throw, breathe, exist. Praise him by playing because you can. Let your time on the field be a means of praise to your Lord. Just as creation does what God created it to do (consider the trees and flowers blooming each year), so you and I can play and coach because that’s part of why God put us here.

Here’s my prayer as I take the field this week: Heavenly Father, thank you for the unique ability and privilege I have of playing or coaching this week. I don’t deserve it and I can’t pay you back for it. All I can do is praise you for it, in it, and through it. I’m taking the field this week with the mindset to play and coach with you as my focus. I’m playing and coaching this week simply because I can, simply in response to the free gift you’ve given me. And, in an infinitely greater way, thank you for the undeserved gift of grace and salvation through my Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve earned nothing I have. It is you and you alone who deserve the praise. Amen.