“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
-Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
An imprint is a permanent mark. To leave a mark means to engrave, etch, impress or inscribe. When I was 8 years old, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride my older brother’s motorcycle. I wanted to show him how “big” I was, so I took off with reckless abandon. About 100 yards down the dirt road, my front tire hit a hole that I hadn’t seen. As I flew through the air, my life passed before my eyes! I landed in a ditch, and the motorcycle landed on my back. Ouch! Thankfully, as a result of being in the ditch, the only part of the motorcycle that was touching my back was the muffler. As the muffler burned through my shirt and my flesh, I experienced a great deal of pain. My brother rescued me, and I was forbidden to ride his bike ever again. Even though that event happened 30 years ago, I still have a nice burn mark on my back. It made an imprint of a hot muffler — a permanent mark.
Every time I compete or coach, I leave an imprint. Whether it is a good or a bad impression is up to me. The ultimate question, however, is not whether or not I leave a good imprint, but if I leave an imprint of myself or of Jesus. It is so true that the athlete or coach who is walking with Jesus won’t leave an imprint of himself or herself, but instead, leave an imprint of Christ. What a challenge! Teammates and competitors either get more of us or more of Jesus. Paul writes in Galatians 2:20 that we need to die to ourselves so that there will be no mark of us.
Today, whether you are playing or coaching be committed to leaving behind the imprint of Christ!