Kevin H: Representing the Coach
If you’re not a college hoops fan who already knows his name, don’t even try pronouncing it, lest you may hurt yourself. Ryan Arcidiacono, or Arch from this point forward, is the four year starting point guard for the Villanova University men’s basketball team.
And, yes, he is the one who set up the game winning shot on the just completed national championship thriller of a game.
Arch is the heart and soul of a team that is scrappy and resilient and very tough-minded. Arch sets the example by diving for every loose ball, tenaciously guarding and frustrating his man on defense, and fearlessly flinging his body into the stands to save every ball going out of bounds. He is also quite astute and seemingly always knows the right play and what is needed in each and every situation on the court.
In many ways, Arch is an extension of the coach. Coach Jay Wright strives to create a culture that thrives on tough, gritty, heady, and unselfish play. Arch has become the embodiment of that striving. Coach Wright has often said that having Arch out on the floor is like having himself out there. The joke around the team is that Arch’s real name is Ryan Wright, because it is as if he is the coach’s son.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.”
How beautiful is it when we reflect God. When people see us and they see Jesus. When we are diligent in doing things God’s way and carrying out His work as He would have of us. When we are his hands and feet. When we succeed at being shining representatives of God’s love and sacrifice and reconciliation. When it is as if we are an extension of Him and people recognize us as His sons and daughters.
Of course we know there are so many other times when we fail. Where that nasty little thing called sin gets the best of us for the millionth time. Where we besmirch the name of Christ. Sometimes in little ways, other times big and spectacular.
Thank God for grace. We can be terrible ambassadors. Sometimes our representation gives God a really bad name. But even when we fail in astonishing fashion, we can rest assured that we are still God’s child. Only by His grace.
Isn’t is just so much better for all involved when we succeed in our mission? When people see us conducting our lives on the court of life and they see not only us, but our Coach, our Master, our Savior? May we strive to faithfully exemplify the One who is worthy of representation beyond compare.
May we strive to live in grace… both in the grace bestowed undeservedly to us by our Lord and in the grace we pass on to others.