“The Best Coach,” New Era, Nov. 2008, 43
During my freshman year in high school, I decided to join the track team. This choice required a lot of commitment because we practiced running every day for two hours after school. We also had to give up weekends to attend track meets. It was a tough but invigorating and rewarding sport.
One Wednesday after school we traveled two hours on the bus to attend a track meet. I had packed all my things but felt uneasy. Had I eaten right? Did I have good form? Should I do something to help me run better today? Questions and uncertainty filled my mind. My friend, Hayley, and I were in the first event. We were both nervous. Quickly we went to our coach and asked, “Is there anything we can do right now to make us better?” He smiled and replied, “You should have asked me that on Monday.”
Being a good track runner requires preparation, and we felt foolish for not having asked this question before the big day came.
Track practice is like prayer. Sometimes we don’t want to do it every day; it can seem inconvenient and tiresome. Perhaps we’d rather be doing other things, or we feel like we don’t need it. But when “meet day” comes and there are trials ahead that we need to be strong enough to encounter, it may be too late to prepare for them. We should ask for the Lord’s guidance every day so that He can help us to prepare for any obstacle placed before us. We can get strength and guidance from the Lord while we train and prepare rather than only at the times we need Him most. Then, when the adversary sends his “shafts in the whirlwind,” he will have “no power over you to drag you down … because of the rock upon which ye are built” (Helaman 5:12). We can receive strength from the ultimate coach, our loving Heavenly Father. I know that through daily prayer, obedience, and endurance, the Lord will prepare us to leap over any obstacle.