Do you ever wonder how your efforts for today will pay off tomorrow? Do you ever wonder whether or not what you are doing now will make any impact? Or how to know if what you are doing is the right thing or right way?

I live in a household of runners. My husband was a runner in high school, and still enjoys running for exercise. His father used to run in college. My oldest son ran on the cross country and track teams in high school. Now my youngest son runs on those same teams.

I was recently at one of his track meets and God met me there.

Every day my son gets up to go to practice at o’dark thirty before the sun is even up. And on the one day a week that he doesn’t have practice with the team, he still gets up to do his individual work-out to keep up his consecutive days run record. Usually, after he gets home I’ll ask him how his practice went. Every once in a while he shares that he doesn’t understand why his coach made him or the team approach their practice that day in a particular way, or why he makes them go through certain exercises.

I have personally never been a runner. I walk for my exercise but never run. So without that experience, I can’t offer much insight into the strategy or training mindset his coach may be using. About all the motherly wisdom I can offer is that his coach has run and competed for many years, so he has the experience that my son and his teammates don’t have, but need to rely on to improve their race.

My advice is almost always the same: listen to your coach because he knows what is best and he has the end goal in sight. He knows where you are starting out and where he is trying to get you. He knows who your enemies (your competitors) are. He knows the terrain you will face.

Even though the students have some experience behind them now as runners, they are not as experienced as the coach. All they can see is that current practice or meet in front of them. They don’t know the other teams or their competitors, they don’t know the terrain, they don’t know what kind of conditioning will be required to improve their times so they have to put their trust in the coach to guide them and believe that their coach has their best interest in mind.

At this recent meet, my son had a personal record. He beat his previous personal record by several seconds. He was so excited, and couldn’t wait to find his dad and me after the race to share in his enthusiasm. It felt good for him to reap the rewards of having trained so hard and having done what his coach had been telling him to do.

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” (1 Corinthians 9:24)

As I reflected on this, God brought to my mind how many times we are running our own personal race in the day to day.

And how often do we find ourselves saying, “God, I don’t understand what you’re doing.” Or, “God, I don’t understand why you’re having me do this or go through this.” And sometimes we find ourselves wondering why God hasn’t answered our prayers the way we thought He would.

Much like with these track and field runners, we can’t see the end of the race. We don’t know the terrain. We have no idea what we are walking into or who the other players/runners will be in our race. But God does. He knows all of it.

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2)

So we have to put our trust in our coach—our Heavenly Father—that He knows what is best for us. We need to seek His guidance and wisdom, then we have to listen to Him. Then we have to put our trust in Him and do what He says because He knows best.

“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 12:1)

Hope-Filled Perspective: Listen to the Coach He Knows


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