This article appears in the Fall 2023 issue of the FCA Donor Publication. The FCA publication is a gift from our FCA staff to all donors giving $50 or more annually. For more information about giving, visit here.
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'” -Isaiah 30:21
I love basketball. I had coached high school, collegiate and professional basketball, but my dream was to coach at my alma mater where I played high school and college varsity basketball and where I met my wife Janet.
I first applied to coach at my alma mater in 2003, yet the post inexplicably went to my former assistant coach whom I had taken in with zero experience. In 2008, I tried again, but the panel curiously chose a novice without any head coaching experience. In 2014, I tried once more. The selection committee—composed of my dearest and closest friends in basketball—chose someone who hadn’t been coaching in 20 years and was in construction work.
Two years before that third strike against me, I had written to Coach Tony Bennett of the University of Virginia regarding their offense and defense. His assistant, Coach Ritchie McKay, sent me a package that included Dan Britton’s book, “Wisdom Walks.” This was the first time I heard of FCA, and it paved the way for me to join FCA full-time as an Area Director for Metro Manila in 2014.
A few months into my FCA ministry, I received a call from the second-largest collegiate league in the country asking me to be their commissioner. I politely declined. A week later, the most prestigious collegiate league asked me if I would be their commissioner. I turned them down. A week after that, the athletic director of my alma mater called me, saying they had just fired their basketball coach. They asked me to be their head coach.
There it was: my dream job. I had been praying for this opportunity for 20 years. I paused and gathered my thoughts before making one of the most important decisions in my life.
I said no.
Yes, it was my dream job, but it was not God’s dream job for me. God closed all the doors in coaching so I could see the narrow road that began with FCA ministry. This was His purpose for me.
Much sorrow went into my decision to decline my dream job, but going through it, I learned what’s truly important: abiding in the center of God’s will because it is my place of rest. He has shown me His beautiful way, and I will walk in it with all my heart.
Would you trade your dream job for God’s calling in your life? Have you heard Him speak of His plans for your life?
Lord, I pray I will be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding so I may fulfill Your purposes in my life. Protect me all the days of my life so I may walk in a manner worthy of my calling. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jojo Villa is the National Director of FCA Philippines and serves to reach every coach and every athlete in the Philippines as a disciple-maker.