Tonight I will again take the field to do what I can to help teach the kids on my youngest son’s team how to play football. I am not the greatest of coaches, but after 3 years of coaching 3rd-4th graders I am starting to get a handle on what to expect out of kids that age when it comes to grasping America’s new favorite game. I know it is not the “most important job” in the world. I know that in the larger scheme of things none of these kids are likely to go on to play professional football. I know that the likely hood of anything I actually teach will be a great deal helpful to them once they put pads on. And still every year my sons play football you will find me out there coaching a team. Why do I do this? Because my Lord was a servant.
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him… When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them (John 13:3-17).”
There was nothing that Jesus wasn’t Lord of and yet he got down on his hands and feet and washed his disciples feet. He didn’t wash his disciples feet just because they were dirty. He washed them because he had a desire to serve. He could have ordered their feet to be cleaned. He could have commanded the dirt to leap off their feet. He could have called for a servant in the house to get the job done. But Jesus girded up his loins and washed them himself. Being a servant isn’t about making certain a job gets done, it is about doing it yourself.
Of course, I am not for an instant thinking that volunteering to coach football is any way the same as what Jesus did. But, it is an opportunity to fill a need in our community. And it sets a president in my heart. It prepares my heart to look for other ways I can serve. But, as I look for other ways to serve, the question I must ultimately answer is whether or not I am willing to get down on me knees to start and/or finish a job. It isn’t too hard to coach football when the kids want to be there and are having fun. But, it gets harder when the acts of service require more of a sacrifice. I need to be willing to do that. I watch officers, fire fighters do that very thing. They put their lives on the line for what? Service. To serve me, just like Jesus did. And yet, too often I think it is too hard. Too much.
“God forgive me for not being more like your Son. Help me to have a servant’s heart. Give me more opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. Help me to get on my hands and knees and help others. Amen.”