The mark of good coaches is that their teams get better the more coaching they do. Not perfect, just better. They see potential in each player and coach ’em up to get better individual performance and good team results. Effective parents, pastors, instructors, directors, managers, and other shepherding types have the same knack for upping people’s game through the way they interact with them. They know that everything they do has the potential to elevate admirers whose silent plea is “please say or do something to lift us up.”
That yearning is in all of us whose existences are typically inclined to the downside. We want our children to leave home in the morning happier than when they came in the night before. I want my wife to wake up and look at me with a smile. I wanted my students to walk out of every class feeling better than when they walked in. I want to leave church more hopeful than when I rolled up because I encountered an uplifting God in Word, sacrament, and song. And I want you to be more devoted to him by the end of this little reflection than you were a dozen lines ago.
Jesus lifts us up. There is a powerful updraft that flows out of his Word, his work, and his presence in our lives. Playing for him will renew our strength so we can soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31).