Remembering a Volunteer
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself.”
I can still remember the smell of my first baseball glove. I remember begging my mom and dad to let me play ball. I remember getting the call from my coach to let me know what team I would be on and putting my uniform on as soon as I received it. I remember opening day, the first game, the sno cones, Frito pies for supper, talking about the upcoming game with my friends at school, facing them the next day after a loss, and my mom and dad never letting me blame anything on the umpires, teammates or coaches. I remember my parents staying late after the game and visiting with friends, going to the ballpark even when we didn’t have a game, and the end-of-the-year party. I remember my 12-year-old best friend hitting one to the fence and being happy for him even though I was the opposing pitcher.
All of the time we spent together built the foundation for the years to come. My friends’ parents and all the volunteers who surrounded us gave us trusting relationships to call upon during those teenage and young adult years. Their investment of time still allows me the trust to ask them about raising my own kids. They taught us, just as Jesus does, that it is not the X’s and O’s; it’s the “Jimmies and Joes.” It’s all about relationships and not getting caught up in winning and losing. All of them volunteered to help the community, and in the process, they built relationships that would last a lifetime. They picked us up when we were down and celebrated with us when hard work and dedication showed in our performance.
Jesus lived a life that was devoted to showing God’s love for people. He was never too busy, too overwhelmed, too stressed out, too distracted to invest in people. And based on His two greatest commandments—to love the Lord and love others—He expects us to do the same.
Today, I say thank you to volunteers. Thank you, moms and dads, for giving us room to fail or achieve. Thank you for the memories. My hope is that each generation takes the torch to the next.
1. Think of your favorite volunteer coach.
2. What Christ-like characteristics did they show?
3. How do you want to be remembered?