A Coach and a Daddy, Too

3796854172_9f0ee0c2d8_o*Since we’ve been traveling more often in recent weeks to help take care of our grandbabies, I’ve been sharing encore posts more often than usual. Today I’m featuring one from February 2009. Our lives have changed since this was written. Both Don’s mom and my mom are now gone, and my nephew Gavin is almost a teenager. The lesson to be learned from the story can still speak into our lives, though. Hope it blesses you!

Don’t you just love it when life surprises you with something you’ve never seen before? I experienced just such a moment this past weekend. While Don was off work on Saturday and could be with his mom at the hospital, I slipped out of town to tend to a must-do errand and also spend some time with family.

Mom and Dad had gone to Tulsa to see my nephew Gavin’s basketball game, and even though I arrived a little late, I managed to get in on the fun, too. Since our girls never played organized basketball, I had never seen a team of 5 and 6 yr. old boys and girls out on the court showing off their skills — or lack thereof :)

Of course, they all looked as cute as could be, especially one little guy who wore a sweat band and rocked and bounced to and fro, trying his hardest, I imagine, to imitate the big guys he sees on television. I spent most of my time trying to get a good picture of Gavin in action, but between not knowing the ins and outs of my camera yet and my batteries running out, I failed to get the shot I wanted. And speaking of shots, Gavin made a basket — before I got there! Darn!

I soon noticed the coaches running up and down the court with their players, offering direction up close and personal. The expected collisions and falls took place, of course, and it was during one of those that I saw a sight I’d never witnessed before while watching high school and college ball. In the midst of several little bodies that managed to wind up on the floor, one little girl must have needed some extra attention because her coach was quickly on the scene, reaching down to help her. The next thing I knew he gathered her up in his arms and carried her off the court. She wrapped her legs around his waist and clung to him for comfort.

You know, that coach must have been a daddy, too. He may not have been her daddy, but he was definitely a daddy. He knew what she needed, and he gave it willingly. Sometimes all a daddy has to do is reach out a hand to comfort or guide or walk alongside his child. But other times more is needed. Sometimes we need to be carried.

Those of us who have daddies who are there for us, who are willing to reach out their hands to us or even carry us, are truly blessed. I realize not everyone is so lucky. But we are all fortunate on another count. We all do have a Father, a heavenly Father, who longs to fill that role for us. At times in scripture, the name “Abba” is used for God. My NIV Bible text notes tell me that “Abba” is Aramaic for “Father” and expresses an especially close relationship to God. In other words, it’s like calling God “Daddy”.

So the question is, are we allowing God to be more than our coach — more than one who offers direction and encouragement? Are we allowing him to reach down into our hurts and touch us with his helping hand? Do we let him pick us up and carry us when we need it? Do we lean into him and cling to him for comfort? If not, let’s make that choice today. Let’s allow him to be our Abba — our Daddy.

“…but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:15b

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Elizabeth Buie, Creative Commons License

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