Most of us who are sports fans have heard the story of the famous Vince Lombardi annual preseason speech. Football in hand, Lombardi walked to the front of the room, took several seconds to look over the assemblage in silence, held out the pigskin in front of him, and said, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” In only five words, Lombardi communicated his point: We’re going to start with the basics and make sure we’re executing all the fundamentals. Similarly, if you’ve heard that one, you’ve probably also heard the story from famed Coach Wooden. The first day of practice at UCLA was always a day full of anticipation and excitement as the new recruits awaited the arrival of Coach Wooden, known affectionately as the Wizard of Westwood. As they waited, each wondered what secrets of the game, what strategies for winning would spring forth from the famous coach on Day One. "Please take off your shoes and socks," Coach announced to the team, seating himself upon a locker room bench. "I'm going to show you the proper way to put them back on."
“Confessions of a Former Follower”
I have to confess something to all of you today. I have to admit that when I was asked to read this book I thought, "Cool, I'll read this. I'll get a little confirmation that I'm not just a fan of Jesus but I'm a really committed follower”. Or so I thought.
The truth is I was a committed follower a while ago but somewhere along the way, slowly but surely, I had lost my first love. I wasn't passionately pursuing Christ anymore. Instead, I have become a professional Christian. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a slow and gradual process. Working for my church for 13 years was truly the greatest years of my career and I can honestly say even today that I would not trade those years for a million dollars. However, somewhere between working yet another Wednesday night fellowship dinner, making sure there were enough ushers for Easter, making sure there was enough coffee ready for all the Sunday School classes and the countless other ways I was serving Christians, I had lost my passion for Jesus, the one in whom I was serving for. Those of you who know me, know that I am the guy who always proudly said that I think Martha gets a bad rap and that someone has to be busy in the kitchen so that Mary and everyone else gets to enjoy sitting at Jesus’ feet.