Presence in Practice


“Don’t plead with me to abandon you or to return and not follow you.” – Ruth 1:16a


We need people. In sports, you need people around you to grow in your position and to help carry the burden. As a coach, you may need assistants, and you need a team to coach. Athletes and teams need coaches and maybe athletic trainers. Even character coaches or chaplains, as ministers on the field, need people to pour into. Depending on the sport, you need officials, timekeepers, scorekeepers, ball runners and fans.

As followers of Christ, we need people in our lives, and we need to be present in the lives of others. Ruth, the Moabitess from the book of Ruth, is a prime example. Naomi, an Israelite living in Moab, lost her husband and her sons, one of whom was Ruth’s husband. Naomi decided to return to Israel and begged Ruth and Orpah, her other daughter-in-law, to go home and find new husbands. Orpah listened and returned home. Ruth vowed to stay by Naomi’s side. In Ruth 1:17, Ruth says, “May the LORD punish me, and do so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

Ruth showed Naomi love by accompanying her to a land and people she didn’t know, which brought Naomi honor. Later, Ruth married Boaz, and the child they bore was looked after by Naomi.

Entering the lives of others – like teammates and coaches – may not look like that, but we don’t know how we can show the love of the Father to others until we walk with them.

  • Has anyone ever walked with you in your life? What was that like?
  • Have you ever walked with someone in their life – like a teammate? What was that like?
  • What good things can come from meeting people/teammates where they are?

“Father, Jesus is our greatest model of entering the lives of others. He came to Earth and took on flesh to save me. Thank You for that indescribable gift. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”