The Most Basic of All

This morning I was reminded of the 7-point creed that college basketball coach and excellent leader, John Wooden lived by. It is said that Coach Wooden kept a folded-up index card in his wallet until he died at the age of 99 in 2010. On this card was the list of basics he constantly lived by. This card had on it a handwritten 7-point creed that his father had given him as a graduation gift from elementary school. It reminded me of the value of the basic things.

Of the seven points in the creed, there is one that caught my attention for this week. It is number two and it says,

“Make each day your masterpiece.”

Today is the only day you have to do the right things. We cannot live in the past or count on the future. Someone taught me that

Yesterday is history and
Tomorrow is a mystery, but
Today is a gift!

Most people are not as confused as they want to appear about the most basic responsibilities in their lives. None of you have a genuine argument about what is most important in your work, marriage, or with your children. We juggle because this is more comfortable that the simplicity of the grind.

The modern world is complex and convoluted. In a study released recently we discovered that 3 in 5 Millennials say that Life is more stressful now than ever before. Let that sink in for a minute. More stressful than EVER before. The real eye-opener is the fact that their stressors are slow WIFI, broken phone screens, and zero “likes” on social media posts. I’m sure they are right; we are living in a hugely stressful time!

Jesus said a great many things during his three-year ministry on earth, but when teaching about anxiety and worry in (Matthew 6:25-33) his summary statement was this,

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.
(Matthew 6:33)

For Jesus, the answer to anxiety was attitude and awareness.

In my life, I am living out the call of Jesus by going into all the world with the Gospel. I want this to remain my singular focus, because Jesus said repeatedly for us to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.” As most of you know our team has recently returned from a very good ministry project in West Africa, but this was not simply because we traveled there. Rather the visible results were because of the repeated appeals our people there made to get people to come together to hear the gospel. There were untold weekly calls, and visits to the various villages and people groups in that country to assure that I had the opportunity to get face-to-face with the people and share the gospel with them. All the efforts of appeal opened doors to stand before the people and share the wonderful news of Jesus Christ with all who would hear.

The basic is in doing the work that is required that will offer us the best opportunity to share with them the love of God. What is the basic work required in your line of work? It’s not as complicated as you might think. Remember, this is your gift day … make it a masterpiece.

Yesterday is history and
Tomorrow is a mystery, but
Today is a gift!