In our family, as summer winds up and we move into back-to-school mode, we have…
In 10 Best Decisions A Man Can Make, I (Bill) seek to gives resources that empower, enrich and inspire men to rise up and become all God created them to be. Christ both leads the way, and infuses us to live out that calling:
Many times Jesus put His disciples into situations that forced them to be competitive. One of the clearest is at the end of Mark 4 and the beginning of Mark 5. Jesus had spent the day teaching people at the Sea of Galilee, and a large crowd had gathered, large enough that He had to get in a boat and teach from the water.
After the long day, He met alone with His disciples and helped them grasp the meaning of the parables He had taught. Then “when evening came, he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side’” (Mark 4:35). It sounded like an ordinary, innocent request. They had crossed the sea numerous times without incident. To intensify the conclusion that this wasn’t going to be a big deal, Jesus moved to the stern of the boat and went to sleep. The disciples must have thought to themselves, It’s been a good day. We accomplished a lot, and now it’s time to relax, regroup, and rest.
They had no idea that Jesus was sending them into a severe storm followed by an encounter with a demon-possessed man.
Life was about to transform from calm to competitive.
Life is filled with challenges. The storm the disciples faced erupted quickly. It’s described as “a furious squall” with waves so large they began to fill the boat with water. With little warning, it was time to compete with nature for their survival. Game on.
Mike Krzyzewski, head basketball coach for Duke University, tells his teams,
“If a team cannot perform with excellence at a moment’s notice, they probably will fail in the long run.”[i]
Hockey coach Scotty Bowman echoes this same thought:
“I found out that if you are going to win games, you had better be ready to adapt.”[ii]
Out of necessity, the disciples immediately kicked into gear, bailing water as fast as they could. To their astonishment, they noticed that their leader was still asleep. Frantic, they woke Him up and accused Him of not caring about the danger they were in. Jesus calmly “got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’” (v. 39). And immediately the wind died down and it became calm.
He then asked them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (v. 40).
Those who are afraid of the challenges before them tend to hold back and hesitate, which leads to indecision and sometimes injury.
Those who do not believe they can defeat the challenges find ways to sabotage their success.
Therefore, every successful coach addresses the need for his athletes to eliminate fear and visualize their accomplishments until they are convinced they will happen.
Consider these wise words about responding positively to challenges:
- “Do not fear the winds of adversity. Remember: A kite rises against the wind rather than with it.”—Anonymous[iii]
- “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”—Henry Ford[iv]
- “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”—Michael Jordan[v]
- “You need to play with supreme confidence, or else you’ll lose again, and then losing becomes a habit.”—Joe Paterno[vi]
- “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”—John Wooden[ix]
- “How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal, and you have to be willing to work for it.”—Jim Valvano, basketball coach[vii]
- “No pressure, no diamonds.”—Unknown[xi]
- “I always won in my imagination. I always hit the game-winning shot, or I hit the free throw. Or if I missed, there was a lane violation, and I was given another one.”—Mike Krzyzewski[viii]
- “I learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is, you can make it.”—Gale Sayers[x]
…we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
Bill Farrel is bestselling author of books like Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti; Simple Skills for Every Man and 10 Best Decisions A Man Can Make and accompanying DVD curriculm for men. He is a popular speaker for men’s groups like Iron Sharpens Iron and Promise Keepers Canada, as well as impactful speaker for marriage and leaderships events. He is a sought after Lifecoach and Co-Director of Love-Wise. Contact Bill at Love-Wise.com
**In honor of Bill’s birthday, use code BillBDAY to save 20% at Love-Wise (special ends 3/15/23)