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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Band of Brothers

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.  Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Matthew 3 33-35
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.  Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.”
1 John 2 9-10
I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again, we are in this together!  We are a band of brothers. (and sisters and mothers as Christ says in the first excerpt)  I have so many brothers, so many guys I’ve shared experiences with, so many guys I’ve broken bread with, so many guys I have loved and have loved me back.  Guys like Steve and Jerry who taught me so much as a young man and athlete in high school and college.  My best friends, C.J. and Beek, we grew up so much in college and maybe not so much in Saugatuck right after college.  Tim was another who befriended me and mentored me as a young coach and continues to mentor me.  Joe, Bob and Lou who have helped me take my coaching to another level.  And who can forget Hurricane Kelly and how he taught me loving God was a manly thing to do.  All these guys (and hundreds more!) alive and dead (Dad, DBK, Ron Hughes, Ranear, Jordan) and I have been in this thing together.
As I get older, I wonder more and more what this brotherhood means.  What does it really mean?  If I don’t spend much time with these guys, how many shared experiences are we really having?  Is it more nostalgic and less real?  Just tonight as I was getting ready to write, it dawned on me that the brotherhood is alive and strong.  It is real.  How so you might ask.
Christ says, anybody doing God’s will is your brother, sister or mother. (so applicable with Mother’s Day on Sunday!)  I know so many of my friends, former players, fellow coaches, Warrior wrestling donors, family members are trying to do God’s will.  Some may not know it but they are building God’s Kingdom.  I thought to myself, anybody that does something for somebody else, gives their time, money and energy to help somebody else out is doing God’s will.  He/She is loving, and since God is love, he/she is doing God’s will.  People we have so much to have joy about!  We are helping other people.  
Whether it’s me and the donors at Winton Woods helping young men discover their strength through wrestling, or C.J. loving that beautiful wife and daughter of his, or Greg and Gordo giving Spartan fans something to cheer about or John putting his heart and soul into teaching young men and women how to throw the discus for a school record, all are examples of men and women loving people.  We ARE building the Kingdom of God.
I am proud that you are my brothers!  We have to remind ourselves that we are all on the same team…every day.  My successes are your successes.  Your failures are my failures.  My crisis is your crisis and your prayers are my prayers.  I have your back, brothers, sisters and mothers.  And I know you have mine.  What an honor it is to serve God my Father with you at my side.  
Let’s recruit more to the fight.  Let’s get it done.  Let’s love the people that God has put in our life…to the fullest.  And by doing so add another one to our ranks!  It’s the only way we can really live this brotherhood.  And it’s the only way that we can repay the people that chose to love us instead of themselves;  that did it for us.
Have a great week!
Coach Willertz
Winton Woods Wrestling where we separate the men from the boys!

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