It made sense, after someone explained it to me, why our high school football coach would always disappear in the middle of the third quarter. I remember during my first game on the varsity squad, I looked up from the sidelines (where I spent most of my time) and noticed that he was gone. (It was a lot quieter.) I couldn’t figure out what had happened. I was afraid the other team had kidnapped him. Or maybe he had gotten sick on his chewing tobacco. So I asked a senior “sideliner.” (They know everything.)
“Where’s the coach?” I asked, thinking I was the only one to notice his absence, which made me feel important. “In the press box,” he answered. “Getting coffee?” I asked. “No, getting perspective.”
Now that makes sense, doesn’t it? There’s no way a coach can really keep up with the game from the sidelines. Everyone yelling advice. Parents complaining. Players screaming. Cheerleaders cheering. Sometimes you’ve got to get away from the game to see it.
Occasionally we need to try that on ourselves, too. How vital it is that we keep a finger on the pulse of our own lives. How critical are those times of self-examination and evaluation. Yet it’s hard to evaluate ourselves while we’re in the middle of the game: schedules pressing, phones ringing, children crying.
I’ve got a suggestion. Take some press-box time. Take some time (at least half a day) and get away from everything and everyone.
Take your Bible and a notebook and get a press-box view of your life. Are you as in tune with God as you need to be? How is your relationship with your mate and children? What about your goals in life? Perhaps some decisions need to be made. Spend much time in prayer. Meditate on God’s Word. Be quiet. Fast for the day.
Now, I’m not talking about a get-away-from-it-all day where you shop, play tennis, and relax in the sun (although such times are needed, too). I’m suggesting an intense, soul-searching day spent in reverence before God and in candid honesty with yourself. Write down your life story. Reread God’s story. Recommit your heart to your Maker.
I might mention that a day like this won’t just happen. It must be made. You’ll never wake up and just happen to have a free day on your hands. (Those went out with your braces.) You’ll have to pull out the calendar, elbow out a time in the schedule, and take it. Be stubborn with it. You need the time. Your family needs you to take this time.
Getting some press-box perspective could change the whole ball game.