The Blessing – John Wooden + Jay Carty

Well, it’s official. I have my first year of college coaching under my belt. WOW. Where did the time go? I can’t even begin to tell you how much I learned and how many times I said to myself, “If only I would have known this when I played. I would have been ten times the player I ever was!”

I feel so rewarded with this job! Looking back now on how hard the decision was between staying at my marketing job or taking a pay cut and following my dream, makes me wish I would have realized that stress was nonsense. How many times do I write about how God has a plan already created for us?! And yet, I need to remind myself of that very often.

I knew this job would be rewarding, but it has been rewarding in ways I never could have imagined. Yes there is the obvious, I get to work with student-athletes on a daily basis during one of the most influential periods of their lives. But the rewards I didn’t see coming was the influence these student-athletes have on me every single day. They teach me things that I myself wish I would have known as a student-athlete. The other rewarding piece of my job, is the passion that continues to grow inside of me. That’s how I know I’m on the right road of God’s plan at this exact moment in my life.

I wake up every day ready to get into work to dive into books about how other coaches have gotten where they are at. Of course I’m recruiting and preparing for next season, but I’m also being shaped as a person. It’s a job that I feel is shaping me into exactly who God needs me to be in this world.

Through my daily research I came across something that really hit home for me. It was a goal to research three coaches before the end of the summer. I was ready to take on the challenge and what I have learned already in two weeks shows me I have a very long and exciting career path in front of me and I can’t wait to see where it goes!

John Wooden was obviously the first coach I wanted to research. I was given a devotional book back in high school written by John Wooden and Jay Carty called, “Coach Wooden. One-On-One.” I never had the chance to read it until now, which again must have been all a part of God’s plan. This reading is a life changer and I hope it hits home for you like it did for me.

When Coach Wooden graduated from grade school his father gave him a card that on one side was a verse by Henry Van Dyke:

Four things a man must learn to do

If he would make his life more true:

To think without confusion clearly,

To love his fellow-man sincerely,

To act from honest motives purely,

To trust in God and Heaven securely.

On the other side, was his Dad’s seven-point creed:

1) Be true to yourself.

2) Help others.

3) Make each day your masterpiece.

4) Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.

5) Make a friendship a fine art.

6) Build a shelter against a rainy day.

7) Pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings every day.

Jay Carty wrote it beautifully. “Joshua Wooden had earned the right to say some very important words to his teenaged son. Apparently Joshua’s timing was also God’s timing. His message was compelling and still has a shaping force nearly a century later.”

It is so important that parents bless their children. And it’s so important that coaches bless their players. I honestly have always wanted to help “change the world”, and the blessing God gives me while coaching allows me to do so. I’m on a mission to take Joshua Wooden’s seven-point creed and make it a part of my every day life!

“God wants to bless you the same way Joshua Wooden blessed his son.” Carty wrote. “He wants you to receive His blessing and He wants you to be a blessing to others. As you read through this book, we believe a blessing is waiting for you in each reading. Will you receive the blessing and will you pass it on?”

That last line of today’s reading completely touched my heart. YES. I accept the blessing. AND YES, I am passing it on! 🙂

Will you?

Father God, I accept Your Blessings this day and I will look for Your blessings each day in the days ahead. Please show me how to bless others. Amen

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