The Real Teachers


“Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” -- Colossians 3:12


As practice was about to end on my very first day of coaching high school girls’ tennis, the only thing left was our distance run. It would be a tough first day; nobody was in great shape at the end of the summer — too many afternoons spent relaxing on the couch. 

When the first runner crossed the finish line, I called out her time with my stopwatch in hand. Immediately, she turned around to see how far back the other players were and saw one young player far behind everyone else. Without hesitating, she sprinted back to that last runner and began to run alongside her for the last leg. Our fastest runner didn’t want anyone to have to finish last or alone!

I was amazed. I remembered my own days playing high school basketball. If I had finished my laps first, I wouldn’t have thought about anyone else. Instead, I would have rested on a nice cool spot on the gym floor. But on this first day of coaching high school tennis, I suddenly realized that I’d be learning a lot more than I’d be teaching. 

Through that young player, God taught me a lesson about kindness and sensitivity. Just as Jesus amazed the local leaders with His deeds and words, God used the unexpected to change me in a way that I could never have imagined.

  • How has God used the unexpected to teach you something He wanted you to learn?
  • In what ways, as a leader for your team, can you be an example to others?

“Thank You, God, for coming to Earth in the Person of Jesus to “run” beside me in some amazing ways! Amen.”