Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Cup Bearers

We just completed our fourth day of the first week of WCS All-Star Basketball Camps. I will let you in on a little secret: you don't really have to be an All-Star to attend! We take anyone who meets the age requirements! I'll let you in on another secret. This is my seventeenth year of camp here in Houston. This is unofficial but my belief is that by the end of the final session on June 19, 2015, I will have accumulated the following levels of service:
51 weeks
96 sessions

96 teams coached
255 days of camp
1440 hours on the court
I have only missed three days during that span, one for Ben and Courtney's wedding in Oklahoma in 2010 and two days moving Mom from St. Louis to Wichita with Karis in 2008. If I do say so myself, I am pretty reliable!

That brings us back to this week. Camp Director (and TAPPS Coach of the Year!) Trey Austin has assigned me two girls' teams, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The AM group is younger and chose the name Dolphins while the older PM squad selected Rockets. There are several things you should know about our camps. One is that we tend to get repeaters, some for many, many years. Almost 2/3rds of my campers on my teams this summer have been on my teams in previous summers. Another constant is that our camps tend to be family affairs. There are numerous families in which every child has come through our doors in June and often I have coached each sibling. That plays into what I am about to tell you next.

I'm not really sure when it started but it wasn't this week. Catherine has been on my morning teams for three summers now, as have her two sisters. Piper is now in my afternoon group after many years in the morning time slot and I have coached all three of her female siblings. I'm pretty sure Catherine and Piper were on the same team two years ago, although I am not positive. But the two of them have this in common: every time we have a water break, they both bring me a glass of ice water. Now, that may not seem like a big deal to you but consider this: our gym is metal, we haven't used the air conditioner yet, and it has been sunny and hot every day in Houston this week. I need the hydration especially considering I am lifting and swimming before I even make it to the gym at 7:30 each morning. The drink is refreshing but even better is knowing that these two young ladies are simply thinking of me before they think of themselves.

In Matthew 10, Jesus is instructing His apostles before sending them out on a mission trip to the folks of Israel. In His preparatory remarks, He speaks of losing and finding life, of punishments and rewards. In verse 42, the Savior makes this oft quoted statement:
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.
I'm going to be honest with you here; I am very careful with money. I meticulously and dutifully record each penny I give to the Lord and His work. Each January, I turn in my donations to Larry, my good friend and brother in Christ in Tennessee, so he can help me maximize my funds with refunds from Uncle Sam, using his years of experience with the IRS. (I'm even thinking ahead, recruiting the soon-to-be famous Yanping to take over  my monetary dealings with the government when Larry retires!) But according to Jesus, who should know, kind deeds which result in rewards don't have to come with dollar signs attached. And Catherine and Piper don't bring me refreshment because they think they are getting some prize or medal- they do it because they are just incredibly sweet and generous girls. In Jesus' assumption, I should be doing this act of thoughtfulness for them but in fact, they are doing it for me. Maybe I need to go ahead and introduce them to Yanping. They are already storing up treasures for themselves in heaven. The funny thing is, they are just being themselves. (PS: I don't want to let the cat out of the bag but Catherine disclosed today she is drawing me a picture!)

Applicable quote of the day:
Happiness is the light on the water. The water is cold and dark and deep.
William Maxwell

God bless,
Steve (Coach of the Dolphins and Rockets!)
Luke 18:1
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