Turn It Loose and Play
Sweaty palms, a racing heart and butterflies in the stomach were my Friday night enemies. The opening drive always made me nervous. I wanted our team to make a statement on the opening drive—to march straight down the field and score. But, at times the fear seemed almost paralyzing.
In those moments, my high school head coach would always remind us to “turn it loose and play.” I found great encouragement in that statement to let go of my fear and nervousness and just play the game.
Now I’m a coach myself, and I’m realizing that I’m even more anxious for my players, wanting them to capitalize on the opening drive, than when I played! That opening drive can set the stage for either a thrilling victory or a mistake-laden defeat. But I try to encourage my players to "turn it loose and play," just like my coach told me. I want them to play in the moment and not leave anything on the field—to not play scared or play afraid of making mistakes. Just turn it loose and play.
As Christians we may experience sweaty palms, butterflies, and feelings of inadequacy when we’re called by the Lord to do His work. But our Coach, Jesus Christ, encourages us through His Word in Hebrews 12:1 to turn it loose (the things that hinder us) and play (serve Him).
As coaches, all we can do is coach our players up during the week and encourage them on Friday nights. But as Christians, with the Lord, we have the Holy Spirit to help us have success in His work. We don’t have to let fear paralyze us and rob us of the joy that comes from serving the Lord. He has qualified us, called us, and enabled us.