by Shannon Caughey
Most of the coaches I interact with share this characteristic: they very rarely slow down. They are always on the move, always thinking about and planning for the next practice, next competition, or next season. Perhaps you resonate with this. While the summer may be part of the offseason for your sport, you likely continue to have plenty to do. And even if you have some “down time” this summer in terms of coaching responsibilities, you may still struggle to slow down and rest – because you’re so used to being on the go.
Here’s the question: when summer concludes, will you be refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to go? Or will you arrive at the end of the summer feeling fatigued and spent? And beyond the summer, is it possible to experience rest even during times when coaching responsibilities and pressures are at their most intense?
In Psalm 62, the psalmist, David, is facing relentless pressure from enemies. His circumstances are certainly not conducive to moving toward refreshment and rejuvenation. Instead, David is feeling beat up and weary (v. 3). It doesn’t seem realistic that David could think about slowing down. Yet David knows that this is the very thing he needs. This is what he resolves to do in vv. 1-2 and again in vv. 5-6: “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.”
To “wait quietly before God” is to slow down and be reminded of who God is. He is the all-knowing, all-powerful, sovereign God. He is the great King over all the earth. He is also the God who draws near to us in love, mercy, and compassion. He knows our needs and cares perfectly for us in every circumstance. God alone is our rock, our salvation, and our fortress.
Because of who God is, to “wait quietly before God” also means we rest in him. Physical rest is good and needed, but waiting quietly before God is about a rest that’s far more significant. It is allowing the Lord to refresh us at the core of who we are. When we remind ourselves that he is God – and we are not God – we cease the striving to control things that is often at the root of our need to be always on the go. As important as it is to work hard and give our best effort as we coach, it is just as important to recognize our limitations and our complete dependence upon God. We can rest in the fact that God is in control – and he is loving, good, and perfectly wise.
While you may know this to be true, it’s tempting to live as if it’s all up to you so you need to keep moving. That’s why it’s so important to regularly slow down and quiet yourself before God. Slow down and remind yourself that God rules over all and his purposes will not be thwarted. Your hope comes from him. Slow down and remember that God’s character is unchanging even while you live in an ever-changing world. He is your rock. Slow down and thank God for demonstrating his perfect, sacrificial love for you through his Son Jesus. He is your salvation. Slow down and be assured that God is all-powerful and faithful. He is your fortress.
Like the psalmist, resolve to “wait quietly before God.” Make it a priority this summer to slow down and spend time with the Lord. Allow him to give you rest at the core of your being. As you do so, you can arrive at the end of the summer refreshed and rejuvenated. And you will cultivate a habit that enables you to rest in God even during times when coaching responsibilities and pressures are at their most intense.
For reflection: As you think about the summer, what would it look like for you to prioritize slowing down and waiting quietly before God? Pursue a plan for doing this so that you can experience the rest that the Lord gives.