March Madness, Kay Yow and My Life as a Camel
Now that's an intriguing title isn't it? "March Madness, Kay Yow and My Life as a Camel!" Well that's exactly what this blog is going to be about today -- as abstract as it may seem for a camel involved in theater -- because those are the things on this little camelid mind. What? You think that's a little off-subject for this site? Stick around and you'll find out differently. Besides, anybody referred to as "the big girl" ought to get at least one chance to blog about basketball!
It's probably March Madness that got me thinking in the first place. I mean, seeing Tennessee win the SEC tournament last week got me geared up and ready to go! For those of you who are getting ready to correct me about the SEC tournament, I'm talking about the finer side of the court, my friends -- the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament. Watching the all-time winningest coach in division I basketball history -- oh yeah, men's or women's -- just kind of gets you primed for a full-blown case of March Madness. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Coach Pat Head-Summitt and seeing her chalk up another tournament win, particularly right now, brought tears to my eyes. All I've got to say for the NCAA now is, "Go Lady Vols!"
And that is what has me thinking again about Kay Yow. You see, my top all-time favorite basketball coaches -- men's or women's, I'll not discriminate -- include Pat Head-Summitt and Kay Yow. I'll spare you my essay on all the reasons why at this time so as to get to the whole point of this blog.
In all the Madness of March, I miss Coach Kay Yow. It's hard to believe that Coach Yow has been gone from us for three years now. She was an incredible coach -- her record speaks for itself. In thirty-four years at the helm of the NC State Women's Basketball Program, she racked up nine conference championships, twenty NCAA tournaments and eleven trips to the sweet sixteen. Don't worry, I won't ramble on about the Olympic Gold Medal in 1988, the various other national teams she coached to victory, or the numerous awards bestowed upon her. Suffice it to say, she was an incredible coach -- by anyone's standard.
But she was an even more incredible person. I never had the privilege of meeting the legendary coach, but I know people who know people -- and all of them say that her image was not just an image. Anything you read about Coach Yow will echo that. And truly, anyone who saw her face cancer head-on as she did had to admire her courage.
But what impresses me most of all is this simple fact: anyone who knows anything at all about Kay Yow, knows she was a Christian. You never had to guess. You see, she had a private faith in Jesus -- but she didn't keep it private. Kay Yow let the world know she was a Christian. She said it... and she lived it. And the message she left behind for those attending her funeral was all about that faith. (You really should take time to listen to that message!) She walked in circles in which I will never walk. She talked to people with whom I will never have an audience. And all of those people knew of her faith.
So what does this all have to do with me? And seeing as how it is MY blog, surely it MUST have something to do with me! Right? I'm so glad you asked!
You see, I've been thinking. So get ready for a hump of truthful insight! Are you ready? Here it is...
Kay Yow was a Christian, but she was not a missionary, or a preacher, or some other kind of full-time ministry staff. Okay, yeah, so everybody knows that -- kind of obvious seeing as how she racked up 737 wins coaching collegiate women's basketball. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time to pursue a life of full-time ministry.
Or does it?
I beg to differ. Seems to me that what Kay Yow did was just that -- pursue a life of full-time ministry. I wonder just exactly how many people know what it is to be a Christian because they saw Kay Yow live her life of faith openly, day in and day out-- through wins and losses...gold medals and championships...cancer and chemo. I doubt there could be a person that rubbed shoulders with Coach Yow and didn't know that she was a Christian. Her mission field wasn't Africa; it was 94-feet of hardwood. Her pulpit wasn't a glass podium, it was a national platform of successful coaching.
And so... to me...
What does this have to do with my life as a camel? Well, I'm not quite like the traditional camels you see. So far, I've never had to go without food or water for long periods of time. I've never been in a sand storm. And I'll probably never have to travel across the desert. That's just not my lot in life. But I am no less of a camel than those who do.
My lot in life is to use all the great attributes I have as a camel right where I am -- just like Kay Yow lived out her life of faith right where she was.
I am not in a desert; I am on stage at NarroWay. I don't haul travelers on great jouneys; I take kids on camel rides after a Biblical Field Trip. I use what I have...where I am... and let people know about Jesus.
So, here's to March Madness, Kay Yow and my life as a camel! Maybe in all the Madness of March, you, like me, can take home a lesson from Coach Yow. Recognize your mission field. Recognize your pulpit. Use what you have...where you are...and tell people about Jesus.
And hey, if you want an easy way to open up a conversation, why not bring someone with you to NarroWay? Trust me, that will give you a great start --- especially right now with "Lord of Light!"