Reaching Higher

I recently attended my daughter’s cross country award banquet and was impressed by something her coach shared.

After celebrating their state championship win and recognizing all her runners, she asked the audience to raise their hands as high as they could. Everyone did, but then she asked for everyone to reach a little higher – and everyone could.

She then pointed out that even though we were all asked to raise our hands as high as we could, we were still able to reach a little higher.

She did this with her runners as well at practice to remind them they had more to give at practice, in the race, and in life. This coach helped my daughter realize this truth this year, and that day, she helped others in the audience too.

That’s what a good coach does, isn’t it? They remind us we can do more, be better, and reach higher. They pull the best out of us.

I like to believe we can all do this each and every day no matter our roles. For whether we are parents, spouses, relatives, advisors, friends, colleagues, or basically anyone that deals with other people on a regular basis, we all have opportunities to help others if we choose.

This gift isn’t limited to coaches – but it does require three vital components:

Care: If we don’t care about getting any better ourselves, we won’t care to help others improve. We have to possess a self-discipline and discernment that compels us to improvement. Complacency and stagnation can never exist for this is the opposite of care.

Concern: If we care about the opportunity to move forward in areas of our life, we are in stronger positions to help others do the same – but there must be a concern to even do so. Our self-drive must move out from self to others. Self-absorption stifles outreach. For selfishness can never impact greater good and change because it means we are always thinking and motivated for self rather than others. People, like my daughter, can always tell when a coach is sincerely for them and in it to help them rather than solely in it to help themselves off the backs of others.

Confidence: Without confidence in others and ourselves we won’t risk anything. Insecurity suffocates growth. Confidence is not arrogance, or narcissism, but it’s realizing our strengths and weaknesses, and caring enough to share our mistakes and testimonies with others. Who better to help someone struggling in a particular area than someone who has been through and overcome that same struggle? We must be willing and confident enough to express our care and concern, and to step out with it and to share it, despite the potential critics.

Application: “All Things” – Philippians 4:13

We can do all things through Christ – He is our Source and the ultimate Coach. For He challenges us, strengthens us, sharpens us, and chooses to invest in us for His Kingdom. He doesn’t allow us to stagnate. He develops us – for He created us and wants to put us to work, and to share in His loving outreach to others.

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