The other day our oldest was playing in baseball game. He is a catcher, so he often will chat with the home plate ump. Sometimes it’s just asking for clarity on a call, or asking how their day is going, or laughing about a blooper.
The ump commented about a player who’s body language and words were struggling. When our son replied, the ump revealed that he, as well as the other umpire were college coaches. “This is how we really find out who we want to talk to.” Our son came home blown away that during the entire game, unbeknownst to the teams, the umpires, who are often questioned, yelled at, or disrespected were the coaches scouting the game. When it comes to recruiting, this concept is quite genius. Anyone can look at a highlight reel on social media and look appealing, but how you behave on the field, the things muttered under your breath, or how you speak to the opponents, is what coaches really want to know.
It got us thinking as parents what we pour into. If our time, money, and energy is solely into the skills and not the character, how may we be hurting our children when we think we are helping them? How do we lead by example in our own behavior when we disagree with authority, leadership, or each other at home and in public? Could our behavior set them up for success when their futures are being determined?
Our battle is not against flesh and blood as Ephesians 6:12 reminds us. When the urge is strong to loose your cool, remember this is not the battle we truly fight. The Lord knows our heart just as much as He hears our words. Our heavenly Father is not the only one listening. The enemy of our souls is ready to take our words, as ammo, to steal, kill and destroy our testimonies and freedom.
Knowing the coaches were the ones listening to the words on the field would have most likely changed the behavior had it been revealed 1st inning. As parents we know who is listening all the time. Our kids need us to be walking in integrity no matter who we think is listening.
How are we investing in our own spiritual training? What we pour into comes out on the field. Just as finely trained athlete will not falter under pressure, so will a Christian who dedicates their time to prayer, the Word, and their own shepherding of faith.
You never know when that example will help them in the game of life. May our hearts stay close to the one who holds our future in his hands, so that when opportunities from heaven arise, just like that undercover coach looking to hand out a scholarship, the Lord will find us ready to represent His team!