Close to the Coach

PiPs camp

Yesterday afternoon was busy.  We had church, then a memorial service where Jonathon ran sound, and Ruby had her first camp and practice for PiPs.

What in the world is PiPs?  Glad you asked.

It’s a group of kids who learn ball handling skills, using basketballs.  They drill and perform at halftime shows.  They dribble, spin balls on their index fingers, practice skills to mastery and gain self-confidence in the bargain.  They also get a free basketball!  That was the selling point for Ruby.  My selling point is their February performance with the Globetrotters!  Can’t wait.

Ruby’s particular group has uniforms, a smaller-than-regulation-sized ball and practices every Tuesday afternoon until the end of time.  They are composed of kids from the three local grade schools.  The regular program ranges from kindergarten thru 6th grade, but after that you’re considered an “Old Timer” and are allowed to perform with the groups.  Heck, you can do it until college!

Sitting in the parents’ meeting while Ruby practiced, I learned about how kids who do PiPs go on to do well in basketball, sports in general and other areas of life.  They’ve learned if they mess up, especially during a performance, they keep going.  It’s not over.  I really, really like that attitude.  It’s a mindset the world, and myself, could use more of.

As I dropped Ruby off yesterday afternoon after registration, I felt a little sad.  She didn’t see anyone she knew and she wanted me to stick around.  But I knew I’d be in the way.  It was time for her to spread her wings a little, see what she could do.  Kids and parents came and went; the back door to the gym opened, letting in squares of sunlight and people.  Ruby slunk to the center of the gym.  There the coach was gathering the kids to him to get the party started.

As I walked towards the exit, I looked back.  Ruby sat in the green circle, cross-legged.  She waited at her coach’s feet patiently.  She trusted he would give directions and get it all going.

I thought, What if someone walks in and nabs her?  Totally irrational, I know, but I’m still a mom.  I am protective of my babies.  Probably always will be.  But then I realized something.  If Ruby – and the other kids – stay close to the coach, in the center of the room, they’ll all be okay.  Coach can see them and watch over them.

So it is with God.  He will guide and direct us.  We need to stay close to Him so He can watch over us.    Sure, he’s got omnipresence and that omniscience thing working for Him.  But for us to be protected, to truly be safe, it’s on us to cling and not wander around the gym, dribbling aimlessly.  And if we look up and find ourselves at the wrong end of the court, we can always come back.  Clinging is un-American.  Yep.  But it is fully Christian.

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