John Wooden was the legendary Basketball coach at UCLA. He led the Bruins men’s basketball program to an impressive number of wins, with a 664-162 record and was named NCAA College Basketball Coach of the Year six times. Now as the story goes just before the first day of practice Coach Wooden would gather all the new guys, along with the returning players, and you know what he did? He would show his players how to put on a pair of socks. He taught this lesson before every game and practice. Why was it so important to him? Coach Wooden discovered many of his players didn’t properly smooth out the wrinkles and if left uncorrected would often cause blisters that hampered their performance. Coach Wooden would not compromise on paying attention to this key fundamental. Everything depended on how one put their socks on.
As I re-read this story I was reminded that it is fundamental for us to pay attention to God. For me the truth is that everything depends on my attentiveness to God’s presence. When I pay attention to God I am able to integrate my beliefs into the daily choices I make. Let me suggest that you can tell a lot about a person by what they do when nobody is watching or by what they do when those who are watching do not know who you are and to whom you belong or when you don’t even know someone is watching. We all point to that which we value most or least. We shine light on something. Hold fast to this thought. You are created to embody the Creator’s purpose. Compassion, hospitality, justice, inclusion and love are not abstractions rather they are actions centered in God’s heart. John Wesley once said, “There are some people who are good as much as they can be; who do good to as many as they possible can; and who continue to do good for as long as they can.” Let me say that the people who do “good” are the people who pay attention to God.
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 13:21
“… make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
What is fundamental to your daily living?
Who are the people in your life that do “good”?
How do you pay attention to God?
Prayer: Holy God, keep me attentive to your presence and nudge me toward doing “good” today. For I know when I pay attention I embody your goodness. Amen.
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