One of my favorite stories! This is from October 1, 2017!
Again this year, I'm eating lunch with our kindergarten through third graders. We have three lunch periods at WCS; lower school, middle school, and high school. I have a class during the middle school time so that's out. I could eat in the high school slot but it's crowded. Instead, as I have done the past four years, I dine with our little ones. There is no line and if I eat in fifteen minutes, I theoretically gain almost the equivalent of an extra half planning period. Daily, I'm the recipient of hugs and high fives and requests for help dipping out bowls of soup. Sometimes, I'm also the recipient of amazing comments. Last Thursday, I was at the salad bar and as a good employee, I was properly outfitted in acceptable attire. A child came up to me and with the innocence and self assurance of a five-six year old, asked,
"Why does it say STEVE on your name tag?"
"Well, my name is STEVE."
"No, your name is COACH!"
That's an argument I was never going to win so I returned to my table, with a smile on my face. Little kids keep you young.
It came up during a quiz this week that one of the apostles had a number of names; Peter, Simon Peter, Simon, Cephas. But, he still was just one guy! I tell my students that the proper way to address the Commander In Chief is Mr. President but that his kids call him Daddy. (I'll update when we finally have a woman in the Oval Office!) To our WCS student body, I am Coach. The funny thing is that after doing a quick mental count, only twenty of the approximately five hundred boys and girls enrolled at at Westbury Christian have actually played for me. That's right at about 4%. To the best of my knowledge, nobody calls me Mister. When I first started coaching I wanted the kids to call me Mr. Hawley as I thought Coach might diminish my classroom role but it was a losing battle..... and I was wrong. I like it and it doesn't imply any sort of kinship except, I hope, one of respect.
I once heard in a sermon that when Peter said, ''No, Lord...", it was a contradictory statement. If Jesus is your Lord, you cannot say no to Him. The Master taught as much when in Luke 6:46, He stated,
"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?"
While you can call me Coach and me not actually be your coach, we cannot truthfully call the Savior Lord if we are not obedient. We can wear crosses around our necks and WWJD? bracelets on our wrists but to make it a legitimate relationship, I must do what He says. Legendary UCLA basketball guru John Wooden wrote a terrific autobiography entitled, They Call Me Coach. I never met him but I knew coaches who knew him. That doesn't make him my coach although I wish I had been good enough to play for him! Calling me Coach is honorary. Calling Jesus Lord is obligatory. There's a huge difference that no five year old can comprehend yet. Someday, I pray they will.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."
Coach John Wooden