Today in my class my students were playing a modified game of tag in the gym. I decided to have some music playing to make it more entertaining for them. As they were taking their water break I just started dancing to the song that was playing. I make a habit of often being a little goofy to let my students see that yes I am stern, tough, and demand respect, but I also have a fun side and am human. Being goofy and opening up often leads to opportunities to find out more about who they are and to share more of who I am... a Christian.
As I started dancing the girls just laughed and laughed and one said “Coach Tate, you’re always just so FULL OF LIFE”. I thought to myself praise God, she’s noticing!!! As we were going into the locker room she said “Coach why are you always so happy?”. Of course you know me I’m waiting for any opportunity for a door to open. So I said well, I’m happy and full of life because I am a Christian and FULL OF JESUS! She just sort of looked at me weird and went on in to the locker room.
I firmly believe that every time I’m in similar situations and I’m given opportunities to explain why I am joyful, why I don’t listen to that type of music, why I don’t watch that show, why I act the way I do, every time I’m planting a seed for them to remember that Coach Tate was different, and different because she had Jesus.
Everyday we make decisions. We make decisions on what our attitude will be like, how we choose to react to various situations (positive and negative), we choose to be joyful or not, we choose to see everywhere we go as a mission field or not, life is full of choices and someone is always watching those choices.
Joy is something that every Christian should have. The bible says that in the presence of God is fullness of joy, it says that a fruit of the spirit is JOY (and the Spirit resides in me), we have a Savior that died for us. We have no reason not to be joyful!!
I remember while teaching in Botswana one of the young ladies on staff for LBOM told me one day that she was giving me the African name of “Bufelo”. Bufelo meant “life” and she said Jessika, You’re just so full of life!!!
I know what I’m full of and it is life, it is THE life of Jesus Christ. He fills me up and He flows out of me. I pray that in the hard days and the easy days I’ll remember what I’m full of and make the choice to let Jesus flow out of me. To let His joy, love, mercy, compassion, humor, and care flow out of me to everyone I’m around, so that they will see that Jesus brings life.
The blog I wrote in Africa when I got my nickname: