I have started another book this week; and it is yet another book about the great Coach John Wooden. I love reading about his wisdom and the effect he had on his players and all those he came in contact with. I loved reading the author’s take in this book where he reminded us that Wooden was a kind, gentle educator; yet he was also fiercely competitive! (Yes I believe Christians should be the hardest working fiercest competitors possible on the playing field/court, and can still honor God in the process!)
And the forward in the book is from another coach I love to learn from… Tony Dungy. Coach Dungy was an great choice to write the forward because he attributes much of his philosophy an coaching style to the things he learned from his father; and the book I am reading is predominantly about the life lessons that Wooden’s father taught him.
When I think about the testimonies of Wooden and Dungy (and their fathers) I am intrigued and also humbly convicted of where I fall short as a dad (and where I fell short as a coach.) All these guys are known for their quiet spirits and kind approach to dealing with issues. They are known for using reason and steadfastness instead of emotion and force. In short they are known for lives that exhibited the fruit of the spirit. (Whereas, although I hope I am growing in these areas, my life is probably more characterized by sarcasm, frustration, and the “death-stare” I give…)
I was thinking about it yesterday as I realized how much I struggle with those that miss assignments… no I am not talking about the classroom (even though that applies as well.)
· I am talking about the player that is given a job to do in the huddle and goes onto the floor and totally misses it… the guy I end up screaming at… “I gave you one thing to do… set the pick… and you missed it!”
· I am talking about the kid that is given a job to do at home and later responds, “I forgot”… and there I am… “I gave you one thing to do… take out the trash… and you missed it!”
· Or the sign-holder I saw yesterday at a charity car wash that was not even facing oncoming traffic, instead choosing to hold his sign close to his chest as he watched the others washing a car… it was everything I could do to not turn my van around and stop, roll down the window, and say… “You were given one job to do… hold the sign to attract traffic… and you missed it!”
And in each situation I would love to simply look at them and scream, “Are you kidding me?” And I am sure I would add a few sentences of disgust…
Then I think of Jesus and wonder how often he would love to scream at His children, “Are you kidding me?” I think of the disciples in the garden. Jesus has just served them by washing their feet. He has just told them of a betrayer and warned them that they would be unfaithful and deny Him. (And we know that Peter vehemently denied that.. you would think that night at least Peter would be on his best behavior…) And then the boys follow Jesus into the garden area of Gethsemane. And Jesus gives them one job… “sit here her while I go and pray over there… stay here and watch with Me... watch and pray…”
Yes it repeats itself because 3 different times Jesus looks over to find the boys sleeping… one job to do and they missed it! The final time He catches them He even asks, “Are you still sleeping and resting?” (See this encounter in Matthew 26-36-46) I picture Jesus with the kind demeanor of Coach Wooden or Coach Dungy (not with my “death-stare.”) I believe He was heart-broken for them because they were missing it… we know that Peter did go on to deny Jesus 3 times that day.. we know the disciples scattered and hid… and yet we also know Jesus lovingly restored and empowered them to rock the world with the news of the crucified and risen again Savior of the world!
Right now I ask you if you are busy about the job He left for you to do? Is the Great Commission truly the focus of your life? Is the Great Commandment to love God and others truly the pattern of your life?
If not I would be asking it this way, “Are you kidding me? He gave you a mission, why aren’t you doing it?”
Jesus is much more loving than me (again I am working on it..) He asks, “Are you still sleeping and resting? …rise let us be going…” He simply wants you to know that it is time to do what is right, right where you are, right now!
Can you tell I just came out of a mission conference reminding me of our call?