Saturday, September 17, 2016

Touch The Door!

In several weeks, my eighth grade and Gospels' classes will fashion an individual Coat Of Arms. Based on a concept I took from my dad, the Coat Of Arms is a family crest divided into four sections. In these divisions, the students post their names, their goals, their best achievements, and their favorite memory verse. A number of the kids always list as their favorite scripture Luke 18:1, which I sign off with each day. The following, from November 16, 2005, explains why.

Coaches are borrowers. Little in sports is new; most things are recycled and adapted. Years ago, I became aware of Notre Dame's football team touching a sign on the way to practice. The sign reads, "Play like a champion today." I thought that was a terrific reminder of a point of emphasis. I borrowed the concept. I was coaching the girls' basketball team at Friendship Christian School at the time. We ordered a name plate with the word UNSELFISH printed on it and nailed it at the top of the locker room door. When we moved into a new gym, UNSELFISH made the move as well. Each time any of us walked out, we would reach up and touch UNSELFISH. I guess I put my hand on it 10,000 times over the years. When I took the varsity girls' basketball job at Westbury Christian School, the first thing we did was put UNSELFISH on the door and began the tradition in Houston. Why UNSELFISH? It is the one thing that causes more stress on teams, families, organizations, etc. than anything else. Touching a piece of plastic is a little thing but I think it makes a difference. Reminders never hurt and you can't have too many traditions.

Several years ago, I began doing the same thing in my classroom. If touching a word is effective with a team of 15 kids, how much more could it be a blessing to the 110 kids I teach the Bible to each day? The most appropriate thing to put on a Bible class door would be....a Bible verse! With thousands of choices, I selected my current favorite, Luke 18:1,the verse I sign off my blog with. How many of you can quote Luke 18:1? (My students don't count!) Here it is:

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them they should ALWAYS PRAY and NOT GIVE UP."

What a great inspiration! Jesus introduces the parable of the widow and the unjust judge. In this story, the woman is relentless in her pursuit of the legal remedy due her. She refuses to rest until the man who should be her protector finally does the right thing. Jesus concludes by making the comparison of a righteous God versus an evil judge. Won't the Lord take care of his children? I think this verse increases the faith of our kids. Their lives are in turmoil much of the time from real and imagined crises. When your world is caving in, knowing there is still an advocate to turn to is such a blessing. I want the kids to know THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE! We live in the age of Cliff Notes and the Reader's Digest Condensed Books so we have reduced it to two simple phrases:

Sound simple? It is, but is is also profound. One thing that is neat is having kids who are no longer in my classes still come by and 'touch the door.' Sometimes, if a student is really struggling, they will touch it repeatedly. Is the power in a 6" piece of plastic? Of course not, but there is power in the words of Luke. If the apostles had to be taught to pray continually, are we any different? Not me- I want reminders and so do my students. So, if you ever come to Westbury Christian School and want to visit Room 258, we would love to have you. Our classroom has just 2 simple rules:
1. Gentlemen stand up when ladies walk in.
2. Touch the door.

We look forward to your company!

Applicable quote of the day:
"Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer."
John Bunyan

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


Lauren said...

coach hawley, i miss touching the door...i do remember that, and i remember the men standing up when ladies walked in...that is a concept that i dont think anyone at consol (my high school) could ever get....I miss you soo much, I am glad you have this blog to keep me updated! you are forever and always my hero!

Ashtonf said...

hey coah hawley, its ashton fontenot. I never knew that touching the door could be suck a blessing to so many different people. I know now that they even have one in the team room now excpet its painted and it says "no excuses" which i think is also really important in basketball and in life

Devin Turner said...

I think touching the door is so cool!! I think i'm going to put up a sign outside of my door with a favorite Bible verse on it! and touch it whenever i walk in I hope you have a good day!!!

Jon said...

I never thought that touching the door meant so much. It is true to never give up and always pray

Dominique Abram said...

Wow, thanks for this message. Be blessed :)