Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why Teach? Why Coach? What Do You Get Out of It?

What do I get from teaching?  What do I get from coaching? The easy answer to the first question as this time of the year is “summer vacation.”  But as I say “thank you” and bid farewell to the young men and women—students and athletes who have grown, learned, challenged themselves, excelled in the classroom and on the field this past year, I realize what I walk away with is something very simple, but profound.  I get a relationship.
I would like to thank Vince Tringali the late, legendary St Ignatius football coach for teaching me this valuable truth.  He said:
What you get from coaching is a relationship. And for some it only lasts a season. Still others ask or need more of you and it extends beyond. And with some, the relationship lasts a lifetime. One that does not end, even with this life.
A relationship is a gift.  It is born out of opportunity and circumstance. It’s cultivated over time. It requires trust, care, concern, honesty, and more give/less take.

The fruit of a relationship with a student or athlete is unique.  It cannot be prescribed, only described.  Ultimately, relationships are what give life meaning.  And that simple truth should be of little surprise because God seeks a personal relationship with each and every human being.

Jesus came as one of us so we could understand what a personal relationship with God means.  He built relationships with unsuspecting people. He had them in the most basic, fundamental way--He was son, a cousin and nephew.  He was a teacher and many of his students became His disciples.  I also think He may have been a baller, but that’s for another entry. 
During this Easter season, we know the disciples felt lost and confused by His death and His reappearance over 40 days.  They were unsure how to relate to Jesus in this new way.  Jesus responded in sending an Advocate, the Holy Spirit.  He said to his beloved And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20).

I met Jesus at a young age; I hope this is a relationship that lasts a lifetime.  I take comfort in knowing my relationship with Christ and with many others does not end, even with this life.  Even more, I am humbled by what I "get" from teaching and coaching.  The best part about it however is that what I "get" is also given....

Photo Credits
Caravaggio's Doubting Thomas

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