Bob Bowman, Dena Walker, Gregg Troy, Dennis Shaver, Fitz Coleman.
What do these names have in common?
Well, for starters…between them there are at least 33 Olympic medals. Add them up and they are associated with somewhere around 7 World Records. All have had a hand in athletic triumph on the world’s stage.
They are all Olympic Heroes.
Wait. They’re not familiar? Never heard of them?
You aren’t alone. I had to look them up myself.
These heroes aren’t in the spotlight. Sure, the cameras pan over to them occasionally, maybe even attribute a quote to them from time to time. You’ll never see them on the podium or on the Late night talk shows sporting the bounty of their olympic conquest around their necks but you have seen them. When? Where? – If you watched the opening ceremonies you did, in fact, see them marching right alongside….uh, right behind…your favorite Olympians.
Without them, you may have never known Michael Phelps or Gabby Douglas. Without them, the names Ryan Lochte, Lolo Jones and even Usain Bolt may not register with you.
Without them…the Olympics would not be quiet so thrilling.
They are coaches.
Coaches can be described in a plethora of ways. They are Motivators, encouragers, even drill sergeants at times. You could call them dedicated, passionate or committed. Some perform their task with a quiet, humble precision, others use volume and well, can be a tad intimidating. They are as diverse and unique as their athletes….but all have at least one thing in common…..
They are indispensable. Absolutely essential for success.
I’ve always had a special place in my heart for coaches. Many of the men I’ve called “Coach” have added to my life in ways that are beyond words. From Little League to the Bigs, Pop Warner to the Pros, the Y to the Olympic Stadium…coaches are a constant. They give so much of their lives, putting in long “after office” hours to best position their athletes for future success. They sincerely care about and for their athletes, going above and beyond the call of duty both off and on the field.
And they do all of this and so much more….in relative obscurity.
Outside the likes of Coach K, Lomardi, Casey Stengel, Bela Károlyi…most aren’t household names and the vast majority of them are absolutely ok with that.
They’ve dedicated themselves, not to getting a personal spotlight, but to getting others on the podium.
Within the body of Christ, the same dynamic often plays out.
Sure, there are some who get the stage time. There are some who are in the headlines. There are some who’ve even become household names, and that’s o.k.! God chooses some for that.
But there are more who are behind the scenes, serving, working, sacrificing….coaching. Guess, what? God chooses some for that too. He sets aside some to serve in thankless roles, relative obscurity, never to reach the podium personally.
Whether seen or unseen, every person, every role played = essential in accomplishing God’s Kingdom purposes.
If you ever see a turtle on a fence post, rest assured….someone put him there.
Thank God for the turtles, and the turtle lifters.
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” – The Apostle Paul (1st Corinthians 3:6)
Soli Deo Gloria! – Pastor Kyle