Once again this week I am sharing an insight from the FCA Coaches Ministry event in Springfield, Illinois (USA) back on March 11. It pays to hang out with insightful people.
A statement made in passing by that day’s featured presenter, Dr. Jeff Duke, was that some people who work in sport do it as a job, a way to make money. Others have sport as their career, demonstrating sustained excellence across time. Still others treat sport as a calling, having a strong sense of purpose for life. I’d like to develop those thoughts, one at a time.
We all know people for whom sport is their job, nothing more. This surely applies to the player who tolerates practice, travel and all that sport requires. We probably know coaches whose primary interest in sport is the paycheck. This even fits the administrator, vendor, equipment manager, or physio who has a job in sport like they would have a job in a bank, a restaurant, or driving a truck. They measure things like hours, money, and maybe productivity, but nothing deeper than that.
It is likely we know people for whom sport is their career. They have excelled in at least one facet of sport and have found it to be more than just a job. They find it to be fulfilling and more rewarding than just their paycheck. These people tend to work longer hours with less complaint that those who just have jobs. They tend to commit more deeply to the people and to the institutions they serve. They tend to stay longer in the service of one university, high school, club, or team than others. These people measure achievement, long-term relationships, terms of service, and value continuity.
Many of us know, and more of us are, people who live in sport as a calling. We are vocational about sport. We have heard God’s calling to the sporting world and to sporting people. We believe we were uniquely chosen, equipped, placed, and are sustained for life in sport. We trust God with situations and relationships that are beyond what career or job oriented people would ever engage. We measure things like conversations, discipleship relationships, hours of investment in players, teams, coaches, and families. We think in terms of decades, and even generations.
If you have a job in sport, good. Be great at it and it could become a career. If you have a sporting career, I hope it brings you rich fulfillment and reward. If you find your heart desiring even more, you may have a calling. If your calling is to live in sport, you are divinely ruined. Nothing else will satisfy your soul or engage your mind. One can quit a job or make a career change at almost any time. But one cannot quit his or her calling. God will protect His divine investment in your heart until it is fulfilled.