If you ask most people, they will tell you that there are two ways to be at a game or sporting event ~ on the field or in the stands. On the field, you may be playing, coaching, cheering, or judging ~ and any number of other roles that are available on a field. In the stands, you are likely watching ~ or not.
This weekend, I identified a third place. You could be in the coaches’ office. Alone.
That’s where I have been in some areas of my life. I find a safe haven in the coaches’ office where I can report I am watching game film, plotting strategy, and planning for success. I want you to believe that is what I do.
That is not what I go to the coaches’ office to do.
What I actually do there is hide. I put away all the strategy and play books, turn off the film, clear the desk and put my head on it for a little nap. I go there so you won’t see me. I hide there because I don’t want you to know that I am not completely put together. And I never want you to know that I am hurting. Because that would not set a good example. That could mean that I am not living up to your expectations of me.
This weekend, I distinguished this conversation in front of a room of almost a hundred people. I was sweating ~ and they were all cold. I was nervous. And they didn’t seem to be. I was wondering how I could just sit down (back in the coaches’ office) when Tobin (he’s the dude leading the course) asked me, “Now what?”
Honestly, there are only two places to be ~ in the stands or on the field. When I tell the truth, I prefer to be on the field. Even from the stands, I cheer loudly, I call out to players (and officials!) and I get on the field. I am a player, a participant, and I love my life when I play. I’m not so happy when I am hiding. I am really tired and uncomfortable when I am trying to pretend that I have it all together when I feel like I am falling apart.
I am not falling apart. I just forgot that I can get on the field, even if I don’t have it all worked out. Life will work out and I will accomplish grand and fun things (those that matter to me) when I am speaking up, saying what there is to say to forward the action, acknowledging when I am stuck, making myself available for your contribution.
I got back on the field. I am on the field. I am honoring who you are and who you are that I am. I am honoring who I am and all that Heaven gave me to make a difference on this planet. It’s really the only game in town.
I may not win every game. I may end up on the sidelines cheering for you. What I will do to honor all of that is I will stay on the field.
After all, that’s the only place the game is played.