Something happens in the process of growing up. It isn’t an age thing. It happens in every relationship, situation, and journey where the student and teacher reach a point where both are teaching, both are learning. Parents hopefully discover this in their relationship with their children before the frustration becomes too great for the students. At the same time, students ideally discover the same change before the limitations and weaknesses of those who have taught them becomes a stumbling block. It is a sign a maturity and wisdom when both parties recognize and respond the new opportunity the change in relationship brings.
I have often wondered how coaches deal with the ever changing values and way of doing reality reflected in the society of the moment. Yesterday’s methods on the sports field no longer work. Kids today have more power and less financial dependence. Priorities are different than yesterday. Technology, entertainment, and even the ways relationships mature have radically moved. In so many ways it is a different world. Yet in spite of everything, core human needs, longings, and desires are fundamentally the same. How does one adapt? Can one move with the times without losing core principles? Do values morph or stay the same?
There is one aspect that I see differently than the generations before me. With mutual respect, both parties can ask serious questions and seek honest answers. We may not like the answers or even the process but the opportunity is here. In many ways the process isn’t new. It is an old process birthed and sustained when the foundations of confidence, honor, and awe are present with both parties in healthy portions. The offer of one teacher to his students is the gateway all students and teachers today seek; “You'll no longer be so full of questions. ‘This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father [God] for whatever is in keeping with the things I've revealed to you.’” (John 16.23)
Growing up is a question of attitude. Today is our chance to be part of real hope.
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