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Living Legacy – The Training

I played high school basketball as a point guard and loved it, except for all the running at the end of EVERY practice.  I would give it my all on every play and then have to hear those fateful words.  “On the line”  When we first started running like that I would groan, with my other teammates,  and walk slowly to the end line of the basketball court.  I remember one of our players, after an extremely long and hard workout, yell out as he went to the locker room say, “What does this have to do with basketball.?”  He yelled out what the rest of us were thinking, but were too afraid to say out loud.   This guy was a starter and a star and had been given carte blanche treatment all through the younger years because he was what you would call a “lights out” shooter. When the ball left his hands, it was going through the hoop. He was that good.  He would step over the half court line and look to shoot and most of the time he made it.  Even he learned a lesson from our coach who knew what we were up against and how much in shape we would have to be.  We couldn’t see it, but our coach had seen it and he was preparing us for battle.  His wisdom about conditioning was vital to our success and his living legacy to me and my teammates was all about preparation.  Our first game would showcase that his wisdom was good and it would help us pull out a close victory over a conference rival.  We came to the sideline at the end of the third quarter knowing we were in a tough fight and that we could lose our first game, it was so close.  Coach told us to kneel down and he drew out the plan.  He wanted us to go into a full court man to man press for the rest of the game.  We all looked at each other with shock.  We didn’t have the leg strength to keep up a press, or so we thought!!  As we stepped back on the court the other team had their plans and their plans were to maintain and hope to pull a win out at the end.  Our plans were to dominate with the dreaded full court press, man to man.  As they attempted to throw the ball in, we got on them  with a tough man to man defense.  I could tell they were shocked and it rattled them a little bit, but they got the ball in, just to have it stolen by one of our players and taken in for an easy layup.  They attempted to get it in again and had a five second call on them and we got the ball and scored.  Their coach called a time out to settle them down, but it didn’t help.  We stole the ball four more times when the game started again,and it was over.  They had no energy left and we looked like we had just started the game, AND WE WERE  PRESSING.  Why?  Conditioning.

Our coach made us work hard in practice to help us be ready for the game and it paid off.  The next day we  had a hard practice and coach said it, “On the line.”  We sprinted to the line and proceeded to run the best line drills he had ever seen.  Now we could see what he saw.  Conditioning wins ball games.  Our star never said the words, “what does this have to do with playing basketball”  again.   Coach knew what was best!!!

Ou heavenly Father has a great plan for our families and conditioning and a vision for greater things and winning battles is part of His plan.  He can see what is coming down the line for each of us and wants to equip us to handle those life situations and win!!  In 1 Corinthians 9:25 Paul wrote, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last;  but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.“  Our conditioning as believers has eternal effects for us and those who see our lives.  As parents our living legacy is one that will turn our children toward or away from following Jesus, but the conditioning we give as parents at the least will prepare them for life and all of it’s curves.  It’s took time for our coach to think ahead for the team and all the struggles we would have and it takes time for parents to look ahead for the struggles our kids will face in life.  Scripture says in Proverbs 22:6, “Point your kids in the right direction, when they’re old they won’t be lost.”(The Message)   I am believing for the best in my children’s lives now that they are adults.  I believe we trained them about life and living for Christ and their conscious desire is to serve Jesus.  They know He is their God and the one to turn to, and now they pass that on to their children and the training continues….  I like what Harry Truman said, “I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.”  That sounds funny, but it is very true.  Anne Frank said, “Parents can only give good advice put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”  Training is just training.  The race of life is something that is run by your children when they grow up and the fruit of that training is best seen in how they live their lives.  So, when we  train them.  We must train them to look ahead from our experience and give them tools to handle life at each one of it’s turns and then support them in what they do.  They may complain and fight against it at some points in their lives, but the training must go on or they will be left incomplete, weak, and not strong enough to live a life of victory.  LOST!!  Take time to train them well coach and we can win this game!!

The Pilgrimage continues….

David Warren

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