Monday, October 15, 2018

October 15, 2018 - No Give-up-ers (People Quit Too Easy!)

Last week I wrote about the “process” being more important than one’s temporal instant gratification… yet, the reality is that we live in what I have labeled in the past a “Burger King – microwave” world… have it your way now…

“Winning games, titles and championships isn't all it's cracked up to be, but getting there, the journey, is a lot more than it's cracked up to be.” John Wooden

Even when we read the great stories of the Scriptures we tend to think as though everything happened quickly, forgetting how often these events lasted many years…

I guess my mind is on the journey for a few reasons. Often in the sports world we pay attention to players’ careers (especially old players that we hope will finish strong); but then I also spent the weekend at a college reunion which got me looking back over the journey; and most importantly tomorrow is mine and Lisa’s 25th wedding anniversary… and what a journey!

So, this week I am honoring “the journey” with a simple reminder to all of us to:

In the words of Jimmy V (Valvano), “don’t give up, don’t ever give up!” Focus on the journey more than the results… trust the process… in your ministries and in your relationships (with God and others.)

Last week’s devo shared verses from Psalm 119:1-8; verse 5 says, “Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course You set.” (The Message)

Remember, God has plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11) and wants to use you (Ephesians 2:10). I will go as far as stating that the only way to be happy/blessed is to have a Jimmy V attitude… Psalm 1 states that a blessed man is one that is “planted” like a tree… but the wicked are blown away like chaff… they’re quitters… give-up-ers…

If you do things the right way, the way God says to do them, you will find peace and security in the journey (instead of the chaos and uncertainty of ignoring the Coach.) John Wooden said it this way: “Joy makes the longest journey too short.”

I do love serving the Lord… (and a side note in honor of loving my wife… the journey is too short… a lifetime is not long enough to love you!)

Monday, October 8, 2018

October 8, 2015 - When Pride Overrides Process / Preparation

I was recently observing a basketball workout in which the coach was giving just some basic drills with a competition-twist… in other words, he was telling the players to count how many shots they were making in the minute-long drill and then having them call out to him how many they each hit. So obviously the competitive fires get burning and players want to “win.”

The same is true even if I am doing a clinic for little kids and have them compete…. And yet, I always witness the same thing, pride overriding process/preparation!  What I mean by that, is that players will cut corners and even cheat just to look like they “won.”

Whether it is a shooting drill that calls for using the weak hand and the player ignoring that direction to make more shots; or a dribbling competition that demands a player keep the dribble alive and stay inbounds, only to see players restarting their dribbles and stepping on lines; or even a ball control drill where the coach asks for the player to close his eyes, only to see the squinting to make sure they can keep control… these are all examples where players worry more about that temporary feeling of pride than trusting that the coach is building something in them! We live in a society where we want instant success, and will settle for just the appearance of it… I love sharing a John Wooden maxim that reminds us to “not mistake activity for achievement.” Yes, one may “win” a drill but if not done the way the coach called for, it did not achieve the goal of the drill.

Preparation/process takes time! For instance, people love to talk about John Wooden’s 10 national championships in a 12 year span… but don’t often discuss that the first one came in his 16th year of coaching at UCLA…

God is at work in your life and wants/plans to use you… but remember it is a process of trusting the Coach! He has even promised in His Word (Philippians 1:6) that “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” In other words, He will complete the process, you can trust Him!

Here’s a great version of Psalm 119:1-8 from The Message:

1 You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.

2 You're blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him.

3 That's right - you don't go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set.

4 You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it.

5 Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set;

6 Then I'd never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel.

7 I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.

8 I'm going to do what you tell me to do; don't ever walk off and leave me.