Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Curtain

Our basketball camps are almost here and once again. I will be reminded that kids are kids, and girls are different than boys. This is about coaching kids to do the right thing, no matter who is watching...or not watching. It first ran on September 7, 2007.

School is back in session which means I have a new basketball team to work with first period. We are very young- nine of the seventeen girls are in sixth grade. Most teams we play are made up of eighth graders so we have our work cut out. It's going to be fun: I really like this bunch of kids. We are dealing with some hair issues, though- it's always something with middle school girls! We share the gym with our middle school boys' team, separated by a heavy yellow curtain that shields us from visual contact with the scruffier gender. Since you can only enter the gym from our end, you must pass by us to get to the other end. Several mornings back, we were ten minutes into practice when a young man came in late. My players were working on two ball dribbling when he entered. I stopped my instruction and watched him. My players did the same. Unaware he was being observed. the young man strolled s-l-o-w-l-y across our end of the gym until......he got two or three steps from the curtain. Then, he broke into a sprint. I started laughing and asked the girls why he did that. They knew exactly. He waited until he thought the boys' coaches might be able to see him and then he turned on the jets. He got away with it....but seventeen girls know the truth.

I always look up to see myself when I exit Wal-Mart after buying groceries. There is a monitor over the entrance displaying the feeds from the various security cameras and their deployments. We have become the most photographed people in history. It doesn't bother me. It actually gives me a feeling of safety to know that most places I go in public can be scrutinized for threats or evidence. Some decry the invasion of constant surveillance but I can't buy that if I have nothing to hide. Our spiritual lives are more complicated. We tend to sin in seclusion, out of the sight of our peers, acting as if the Lord doesn't see. My brother, Scott, and I used to teach and coach together at Friendship Christian School in Tennessee. Since we lived only two blocks apart, I would eat supper there several nights per week. Sometimes when I would walk in, my sister-in-law, Karen, would tell me, "Seth is hiding from you." I'd go into the living room and my three year old nephew would be standing in plain sight, eyes closed, acting invisible. He didn't think I could see him simply because he was hiding, albeit hiding in plain sight. I played along but it wasn't much of a challenge. Aren't we like that? We think we get away with something because nobody found out, forgetting that nothing is hidden from our Father. Like that young man on our boys' team, we put on a good show at the opportune time but we aren't fooling everyone. The amazing thing is, God still loves you and me, in spite of the charade we put on. We all have a big yellow curtain we try to hide behind: we call it privacy. Legal experts proclaim we have a constitutional right to privacy. I'm pretty sure the Lord is not bound by Constitutional law.

Applicable quote of the day:
"A sin takes on a new and real terror when there seems a chance that it is going to be found out."
Mark Twain

God bless,
Luke 18:1

E-mail me at


Carrie Cooper said...

Carrie @ comfortedbyGod.blogspot.com

Hi Steve! This is my first visit to your great blog! I have 3 kids, one of which is about to enter middle school, so I completely relate to your coaching audience.

Love your post! Keep up the good work.

Jennifer Juniper said...

That Mark Twain quote is the perfect punctuation to the point you are trying to make! So true, great post :)