The following is a heart-wrenching excerpt from Voddie Baucham’s book Family Driven Faith:
Over the years Coach and I have kept in contact. Every once in a while I pick up the phone and catch up with Coach. Recently I discovered that he had fallen on hard times. He had finally retired and didn’t know what to do with himself. What’s worse, his marriage of over twenty-five years had recently ended. At first I wondered what could possibly have gone wrong. Then it dawned on me. We saw a committed coach who arrived early every morning; his wife saw a man who was never home when she got up in the morning. We saw him as committed; she saw him as overextended. We saw him as a confidant who was always there for us; his children saw a man who was more of a father to strangers than he was to them. Now he spends his nights alone missing the woman who spent a quarter of a century missing him. He sits at home reminiscing about the house he was so committed to that he drove an hour to work every day rather than moving. He yearns for time with his kids, but that time is scarce because they are busy doing what he didn’t—spending time with their families. His days are spent with his elderly father, and occasionally he has a chance to watch his grandkids play ballgames, something I’m sure he wishes he had done more with his children. Every once in a while someone from the past calls and asks, “How’s it going, Coach?” A few minutes later the reminiscing is over, the voice from the past is gone, and Coach is alone with his memories. And all he has to show for it are a few trophies, a couple of pictures, and some patches on an old, faded jacket. I cried when I got off the phone that night. . . . All of the pictures came together, and I finally saw the truth that had been there all along. This man who had meant the world to me had sacrificed his family on the alter of his career, and I was oblivious to it. I considered it normal, even admirable. Suddenly, all these years later, I went from admiring Coach to feeling sorry for him. I saw the trade-off, and it wasn’t worth it. The occasional thanks of strangers will never dull the pain of years missed with your family. Needless to say, when I got off the phone with Coach, I spent some time with my kids. It turns out Coach still had lessons to teach.