A few years ago I saw a sign with these words:Artificial Significance. It really got me thinking about my own journey. How much of my life has been spent doing things that make me feel good about who I am? In my head I know my significance comes only from knowing Jesus. In reality, however, I allow many other things to define my worth. They are all based on things the world esteems, such as: Title Position Age Accomplishments Recognition Family Income A good meal (OK, I just threw that one in:) Why can’t I just always accept that who I am is determined by Christ and not by title or what I do? How about you? If you are a Christ follower, what keeps you from understanding your significance is in Him alone?
It has been an extremely great honor to work at UPI for some 38 years. During those years I have had the opportunity to meet many people. It is hard to stay in touch with many of them as they live in various parts of the world. Some people I’ve met are seeking advice or counseling. Others just want to hang out together. I would love to have a cup of coffee with each of them at least one more time, but that likely will not happen this side of eternity. Normally when I meet someone, whether it is the first time or the hundredth time, I try to ask, “How are you doing?” I love hearing about people’s lives and getting updates on what is going on. Many people won’t tell you unless you ask. Here is something I’ve become aware of over the years as I’ve asked people about their lives. I can think of very few who ask me how I am doing! I do not mention this to make anyone feel sorry for me! I’ve been blessed with some great friends who care and who ask about my life. But most people never go beyond the automatic, “Hi, how are you?,” without meaning it or waiting for an answer? I find it puzzling that so few people ask others about what is going on in their lives. Challenge: Let’s be intentional about asking people how they are doing. When we meet people, start the conversation by asking what is going on in their lives. Ask how they are doing. Make them the focus of the attention and take time to listen. People are fascinating and everyone has a story. Who knows, maybe they will actually ask you about your life!
1. Success Is All About the Little Things – On the first day of practice Coach Wooden didn’t discuss basketball strategy. Believe it or not, he taught his players the proper way to put on their socks and shoes so they didn’t get blisters.
2. Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome – Coach Wooden didn’t focus on winning. He focused on the character of his team, key fundamentals, daily improvement, effort, potential and selfless teamwork. As a result he won…a lot.
3. There’s No Such Thing as an Overnight Success – Wooden was at UCLA 16 years before they won their first national title. Today we live in a world where people expect instant results. If a coach doesn’t win a title in a few years he or she is fired. Wooden is a testament that greatness takes time.
4. Selfless Teamwork is Great Teamwork – Wooden said, “A player who makes a team great is much more valuable than a great player.”
5. There’s Power in Humility – Norman Vincent Peale said that humble people don’t think less of themselves. They just think of themselves less. Wooden made his life about coaching, leading and developing others and in doing so exhibited true power.
6. Faith Matters – In our politically correct world where people are afraid to mention God, even though it says it on our dollar bill, I find it interesting how in all the media reports about Wooden they talk positively about how his faith guided his life, principles and actions. There is power in faith. More importantly there is enormous power when your faith moves you to love, serve, inspire, coach and make a difference.
7. Your Legacy Matters – The most important thing you will leave behind when you die is your legacy. And the greatest legacy you can leave is your life, your principles and the lives you touch. Wooden didn’t spend his life amassing wealth and trying to make a fortune. He invested in others. And while buildings will fall, jewelry will tarnish and money will get spent, his legacy will live on in those who carry his teachings in their heart. J.H.
Do you have dreams, challenges or fears that you need to bring before God in prayer? Are you sometimes reluctant to discuss certain things with God in prayer? In his book “Draw the Circle,” Mark Batterson makes these statements: “Here’s what I know for sure: God won’t answer 100 percent of the prayers we don’t pray. We never know if the answer will be yes, no, or not yet. But the answer isn’t up to us. It’s not our job to answer; it’s our job to ask.” God doesn’t answer prayer just to give us what we want; God answers prayer to give glory to His name. The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered simply because they go unasked. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus emphatically tells us to “ask, seek and knock on the door.” Keith Madison SCORE International