Most of us are familiar with the typical sports time-out, when the head coach calls a “time-out” because he/she wants to talk directly to the team. My head coach would always call time-outs during the most critical or strategic times of the game to provide wisdom, clarity and instruction for the next assignment. Especially when we were fearful, started taking our eyes off of the prize and whenever it appeared that we were losing to our opponent.
There were even times when I felt pressure during the game that I would run hastily to the huddle to receive wisdom and instruction from my head coach. Other times, I walked or limped to the huddle wounded, thirsty, weary and frustrated in need of special assistance. Fear and doubt were always present when I spent too much time magnifying the size, strength and voice of my opponent. As I look back over my life, I seem to recall that when I refused to listen, obey and do what head coach told me to do, I was least productive. Also, when walking from the bench to the huddle, there were always temptations and distractions intended to keep me from focusing and spending valuable time listening to my head coach during time-outs.
Assistant coaches were also present in the huddle, helping me and my teammates remain focused on the game plan. They also provided special assistance and individual player support as needed. Additionally, athletic trainers were in the huddle focused on treating injuries/wounds to ensure each player was ready to play the assigned position, whenever called upon. Thirsty, weary and exhausted, water was available to refuel and replenish us as needed. During the time outs, my head coach assessed the condition of each player, spoke words of wisdom and provided offensive and defensive strategies, clarity and direction as needed.
Sometimes during the time outs, instead of listening intently and applying the knowledge and wisdom shared, I could not hear the instructions because I was spending too much time complaining and fretting. I later realized that regardless of the challenge or size of the opponent, whenever I listened and applied the head coach’s words of wisdom, I was mentally prepared, refocused, confident (no fear) and ready when called upon to play my assigned position. It was not until one day we were losing the game and facing what appeared to be a really BIG opponent and what appeared to be an impossible game situation that I began to understood purpose and value of time-outs.
During and beyond the game of sports (game of LIFE), I have endured many trials, delays, obstacles, disappointments, all of which have shook, tested and strengthened my faith. The wisdom, strengthened muscles, life lessons and experience gained is priceless! Again, it was not until one day it appeared that I was losing and facing what appeared to be really BIG opponents (i.e., indecision, debt, confusion, fear, etc.) and what appeared to be impossible situations in areas of my life, I was reminded me of the purpose and significance time-outs in the game of sports had on my life.
When facing challenges or an opponent in the game of LIFE, instead of relying on my head coach to call time-outs for me, I have learned that I can call a Kingdom Time-Out (KTO) whenever things appear to be too difficult or impossible. Similar to a sports time-out in practice only, I have learned the Kingdom Time-Out (KTO) serves a different and greater purpose. And, Kingdom Time-Outs may only be called by those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and have become part of His winning team. During the Kingdom Time-Outs, I can go to the Playbook of Life (Bible), huddle (prayer), be still, listen and receive wisdom and instruction directly from The Head Coach, (God aka Abba Father).
Instead of assistant coaches, The Holy Spirit is always present teaching me, guiding me and helping me remain focused on The Head Coach’s game plan and purpose for my life. Instead of the athletic trainer, JESUS, the Healer, heals me, restores and makes me whole. Thirsty, weary and exhausted, during the Kingdom Time-Out, I can drink of the water that He provides and know I will never thirst again. Regardless of my opponent, situation, trial, transition, difficulty, delay or what appears to be impossible in the game of LIFE, after applying the wisdom (“play by play instructions”) received directly from the Word of God; I am encouraged, strengthened, equipped, empowered, always victorious and no longer afraid. My mind is renewed, I am transformed, refreshed, fully equipped and will be ready whenever called upon for every position, assignment or next level assignment God has ordained and purposed for my life.
Norma Jean Evans
Coaching, Equipping, Transforming 4 Game of LIFE!