One of my regrets from childhood is having never played on a sports team. Every day after school, every weekend, every summer vacation, and holidays (except Christmas and Easter) we kids worked on the family farm. It’s just the way it was. When I went to college I couldn’t believe how much free time we college kids had. I remember the first weekend I woke and didn’t have to work. What! As you can imagine my college age kids get no sympathy from me about being “so busy.” Ha. This is the freest time in their lives. I didn’t play college sports. No duh. Oh, I went for a jog every now and then but nothing consistent or strenuous.
It wasn’t until I got married and had little kids (3 three and a half and under) that I started running. I learned running was my only time alone. If I could run 25 minutes then I had 25 minutes to myself. If I could run 45 minutes I could have 45 minutes to myself. I became motivated to become a long distance runner 🙂
I loved to run because it gave me time to think. It was a time when Jesus and I talked – a lot. I loved feeling my legs pound on the pavement. It was on the pavement I worked out a lot of my baggage. I loved the sweat, fatigue and strength. I love the competition with myself. See I’m an “A temperament” kind of gal – I know shocker for some of you – so I love goals. I love to achieve my goals then set another one. Running gave me goals to beat. Time, pace, distance. I liked pushing myself. Could I go farther, faster, longer? And running helped burn off some of my intensity so others could stand to be around me. You do know the south struggles with assertive “A temperament” women right? Running helped. I then moved into kick boxing and explored the idea of boxing (yes, women boxing) and playing on a women’s soccer team. But I cracked my back in two places and my desire to play on a team was over. I would never play on a team. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t love sports. I don’t even watch sports – nope not even the Cowboys. Sorry. I don’t love sports for sports sake I love the push of sports (the growth, the betterment) it gives you physically, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally. One of my greatest regrets is not having played a sport.
So I find it humorous in one sense (not so much in another) that I’ve been asked to teach at a conference in October at Laity Lodge for “elite coaches in Olympic sports.” WHAT? Don’t they know I’ve never played on a team? Don’t they know I know nothing about training, coaching, or sports? I rarely get nervous about teaching but I’m a bit unnerved about this one. See when you teach the Bible you must know two things: the Word and the audience to whom you are speaking. That’s what’s been freaking me out. I don’t know athletes! It seems that every year God gives me one experience that takes me out of my comfort zone. It’s new. It’s not what I normally do. And I say yes even though I’m freaked. I remember Jill Briscoe saying we keep growing by tackling one new thing every year. That one thing for this year will be to teach a conference full of elite coaches in Olympic sports.
So how about lending me some help in tackling this new thing. What do you think I might need to know about this particular audience? What goes on in their mind, heart and soul? If you were me what would you teach from the Bible?