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You Might As Well Throw The Book Away

Over the past 20+ years I have coached boys and girls and watched hundreds of games of soccer, golf, basketball and baseball and I've learned quite a lot. Some of it fun and some of it sad. I've learned it's ok to take a time out so one or more of your players can take a bathroom break. I've learned that children have an awful short attention span, as in the first 1,000 times you tell a child something doesn't count. I've learned that children can fight one minute and be best friends the next. I've learned that if you give a child, even a troubled child, quality attention, they'll love you. I've learned that a homerun, a goal, a touchdown or a basket is more important to some parents than how their children perceive themselves. I've learned that there is a lot of politics even in sports for elementary age children.

I remember being at a coaches meeting for Little League Baseball and I learned something else that day, too. If you've never been to one of those rules meetings or times when the coaches "draft" teams, you've really missed out. It's never a pretty sight and I always hoped that the Lord wouldn't return while I was in one of those meetings.

It didn't take long for tempers to rise in these kinds of meetings. On one occasion I remember two "grown" men were going at it over a rule. One wanted to by-pass the rule in the "Official Little League Rule Book." The other was completely against such a move. Finally the one wanting to follow the rule stood up. He held the rule book out and said something like this: "If we want to play Little League baseball, the rule is already decided. If we want to play by our own rules and make them up as we go, then we can't play in their tournaments. The rule is in the book. If we don't want to follow it completely, we might as well throw the book away." End of discussion!

At that moment I ceased being a coach and became a preacher and took notes. If the world would deal with religion with almost the exact words that this ole' boy dealt with Little League baseball, we'd have religious unity and peace and could practically do away with all the confusion in the religious world. Listen to his words with some slight revisions: "If you want to be the church, the rules are already decided. If we want to play by our own rules and make up rules as we go, we can, but it won't be the Lord's church and we can't be in His kingdom. The rules are in there. If we don't want to follow them completely, then we might as well throw the book away." End of discussion!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward