A couple of weeks ago, I attended a high school basketball game. That, in and of itself isn’t noteworthy. I’ve attended dozens this year and hundreds over the course of a long career in high school athletic administration and coaching.
At halftime of the girls game, the host school brought out an older couple and spent the next few minutes honoring “Mr. Jackie.”
Did he win 500 games or multiple state championships as a coach?
Was he being recognized for a career as an athlete at their school long ago?
What about being a Principal, Athletic Director, Superintendent, Radio Broadcaster, or some other position that gets a higher level of visibility?
The most touching part of the presentation was, in front of a full home side of bleachers, the school administrator asked hundreds of fans to please stand up if they had ever ridden on a bus driven by Mr. Jackie.
I would say 90% of the people sitting on the home side rose to their feet and applauded for what felt like minutes for a man that gave over 40 years to their school and school district driving a school bus. He had driven morning and afternoon routes, taken elementary kids on field trips, and safely transported athletes to baseball, football, and basketball games.
Why did they cheer for a man that drove a bus? Because they recognized that he had taken the task in front of him, made it his own, and (while I can’t speak for him) took the charge in Colossians 3:23 to heart.
The lesson is fairly obvious.
It is in our nature to want more. The Vice-President wants to be President. The Assistant Coach aspires to be the Head Coach. Whatever position makes a little bit more money draws our attention. The second fiddle. . . . well, you get the point.
In always trying to climb a ladder, become something more than we are, or just feel more important or successful, I think we run the risk of not serving well where we are. I Corinthians 7:24 says, Brothers, each person should remain with God in whatever situation he was called.
In other words, God has planted each of us. Instead of trying to grow and thrive in that spot, we look for more fertile ground or a place with more sunlight, access to water, or near other plants.
I am thankful for the reminder to just bloom where we have been planted. Not only that, but to let God use us to bless others in the process.
And, if you ever played high school sports in Huntingdon, I bet you’re thankful for Mr. Jackie.
Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men
– Colossians 3:23