Dear Coach and Family, You are such an important part of my life!”

In a lost world filled with doubt, confusion, deception, and brokenness, there are children caught in the middle suffering from the sins of their fathers and mothers. Divorce, abuse, and a society where life gets a little too busy to care enough about their kids to realize that all of their efforts to “provide for them” are actually creating in them a lack of self worth and an abundance of pain. In a world where getting to see dad is a rare occasion and you are lucky to have one sibling that is of both the same parents, the young people are lonely and feel as if they have no one who cares about them in their lives. 

The italicized words above are the contents of a Christmas card that one of my cheerleaders gave me this evening. In a world where even the people you look up to end up abusing you and taking advantage for their own personal gain, finding someone that actually cares about you enough to not let you settle for mediocrity in your life is a rare thing. As a follower of the Way, and a disciple of Christ Jesus, I am committed to bringing out the hidden potential within each of the young people God puts in my path, and give them the person that they can count on.

As much as the words above move the most inward part of my heart, the burden and responsibility raise to new heights. One always hopes there is at least a single student that he or she is impacting in a positive way, but rarely gets to know the truth of the matter while it is going on. God has shown me the responsibility I have in influencing these young ladies. My heart must be pure, my words must be solid, and my desires must be Christ. If I am loose with my tongue, impure with my thoughts, and reckless with my actions, then I am influencing the young people in the very way I was put here to protect them against.

It is true that some will not even remember me five years down the road, but there is at least one to whom I am very important. The very words “you are an important part of my life” sound as if the child is telling me “I am watching you because I need someone to watch who will lead me in the right direction. Please don’t let me down, please don’t abandon me, because I don’t want to end up in a dark and lonely place.” I may be reading into this sentence a little too much, but this is how I see it. This is my motivation for being the best positive influence, and this is what God has created me for.

If they only knew how important they are to me…