In my mind today, I'm thinking about wheat, coaches, and life. How does wheat or any plant reproduce? It flowers and then it fades. Ultimately upon its death, much fruit or new plants spring up. That's how I have so many Black-eyed Susans around my house. We die to finish a chapter of life and hopefully good will sprout from the "seeds" we've sown with our works on earth.
Now, let's think about coaches. As an athlete, I've had quite a few in my short life. Every coach has their method of teaching. I remember harsh coaches who tore the players down with insults. Believe it or not, sometimes it worked. I remember being the "poster child" for many coaching points while we reviewed the films. The athlete tries to prove the coach is wrong. Then, there are coaches who really believe in you and build up your confidence even when they realized that it would take a minor miracle to win a championship with the crew he or she was coaching. Sometimes those miracles happened because of that push of faith. These coaches were eternally positive and tried to pass on that positivity to the players. I was even a coach once and it's a daunting task. You want everyone to get a chance to play or shine, or at least I did. Reminds me of the song lyrics, "Put me in coach, I'm ready to play!" As I coached, I remembered how it felt to be that kid on the end of the bench praying for a chance to play.
Let's combine the two: wheat and coaches. Here's the connection. Very good coaches sow an abundance of "good seeds." In a way, they pay it forward. All of those seedlings will mimic those ideals planted in them by their coaches. Have you ever noticed how once you grow up when you see a former coach, you always say, "Hey Coach _!" Let's just say, they make a lasting impression on you. Whether you learn what to do or what not to do, coaches have a special place in our lives.
Think about all of the "coaches" you've had in your life. Parents, pastors, teachers, and friends are coaches, too. How do you know if they are good coaches? Do they remember you and the time they spent with you? Do they take interest in your life and ask about your kids or job? Do they tell your kids about the antics you did as a youngster? Do they look you in the eye, embrace you, or pat you on the back when you need it? If you answered yes to some of these, then you were blessed. And guess what? They were blessed, too. The chapter of life you shared with them will continue to produce "fruit." As each chapter comes to an end, another one begins. We all have to have a final earthly chapter, but it won't always bring forth fruit unless we continue to plant those "seeds" of hard-work, positive attitudes, respect, teamwork, and perseverance in those around us just like our coaches did. Don't be sad when their last earthly chapter ends. Rejoice! They completed the race of life with valor just as any star athlete when they cross the finish line. The rewards are forthcoming and reside within you and me as we in turn disperse what was given to us.
Dedicated to all the coaches I've known. Especially, Coach Jeff Branham who always made his students feel loved, appreciated, and important. Our last meeting was Senior night at the last DHS basketball game. He told me this was it. He was going to not be the announcer at any more games. He told me he was not feeling well. He always said, "Hey young lady!" when we met. Before I left that night, he said my name over the loudspeaker: "Basket by Sarah Anderson!" I still hear him in my mind and always will. He was indeed a phenomenal coach, a life coach for many. Your race on earth is now complete. Thank you for abundantly sowing love in our little corner of the world.
With love and respect always,
Sarah Anderson Alley