Clovers News · Stay Encouraged!

Clover Nation:  It seems as if the Clovers have really been unfortunate the last few days…up until this point, we had not had any real issue with COVID regarding the athletic department.  There have been times kids have had to quarantine due to contact…wrestlers had to miss some meets, football had to play shorthanded at times due to quarantines…and this is not to take away from those kids missing out…I am certain that was difficult for all involved there too…but no team had been removed from the State Tournament or lost their coaching staff to quarantine.

This year, really has been a success for the Clovers in many ways.  We have been in school all but 8 days this year (and that was a staffing issue).  Administrators, teachers, custodians, bus drivers, and the students have all worked hard to make that happen.  And then, February hit…

Just within this week, our Girls Basketball team had to quarantine causing us to withdraw from the Sectional.  It was a Sectional that we had worked hard all year to get better and compete in…one that we got a great draw for.  It was frustrating for sure…instead of finishing the season competing and playing well with some closure, gaining experience for future sectionals…we finished with a practice that had a demanding and unsatisfied coach wanting more out of the team…and I just know I would have been happy with our effort at the conclusion Tuesday night (win or lose).   Safe to say…we were devastated.

The Boys team has now lost all but 2 volunteer coaches (who are stepping up and keeping the team practicing) and the Junior Varsity team.  The Varsity team was in jeopardy of having to play in the County Tournament without a full staff.  That would have happened too had the rest of the County Schools stepped up and made good decisions putting kids first (we have great AD’s in Putnam County!)

Two events, within 2 days of each other that cost one team the season and another their coaches through the coveted County Tourney.  I am not going to lie…I was pretty frustrated this week…confused, angry, disappointed…lots of emotions.  Once I got over the initial shock though…and got out of my own way…I was able to look at it a little differently.

Athletes (or really anyone who takes the time to read this), let me take a moment to encourage you!

First off…the following is how I handle stuff like this…you may have other ways, but this is what works for me…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

This is one of my favorite scriptures…

Jeremiah 29:11 was spoken to people in the midst of hardship and suffering; people who were likely desiring an immediate rescue (these people were kicked out of their own land and were in a tough situation…think about COVID…our current situation…we have been “kicked out” of our “normalcy” (No fans for your season, masks, removed from tournaments, etc.  The entire situation stinks…).

But God’s response is not to provide immediate escape from the difficult situation. Rather, God promises that He has a plan to prosper them in the midst of their current situation.

Christians (those that have accepted Christ as Savior) facing difficult situations today can take comfort in Jeremiah 29:11 knowing that it is not a promise to immediately rescue us from hardship or suffering, but rather a promise that God has a plan for our lives and regardless of our current situation, He can work through it to prosper us and give us a hope and a future.

I (or we) may not understand it…but I know there is purpose in this entire crazy, COVID situation…

I also like and think about Job 38:4 through Job 42:6…Here the Lord was being questioned by Job (who had lost everything he had…fortune, land, even his family…I would have been like Job) and the Lord basically calls him out on it making sure Job understands that He is Sovereign and can do what He wants and has things under control…  He asks him several questions he knows Job has no answers for…

I am paraphrasing here…

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?”
“Who marked off its dimensions?”
“Do you control the sea?  Tell the waves where to stop?”
“Do you separate night and day?”

There are many other questions the Lord asks Job and they clearly make me realize my lack of control with situations like we find ourselves in.  I need to have confidence in the Lord…If He has that much power…and He has plans for me to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11)…then I am in good hands…and so are you!

So as I reflected on those things…I realized we really have much to be grateful for…we are still competing in February!  Spring Sports are right around the corner!  We are going to get through this year!  Is it normal?  No…   but the fact is, kids are still competing for their school and community…our girls team played 22 games this year…22!  Many teams didn’t play half as many…

Be encouraged today…there is a purpose for all of this nonsense…find and use any positives you can…by the end of the week next week, the Basketball team will be competing again and not long after that, Spring Athletes will be too!