If you read my column regularly, you realize that I enjoy basketball a great deal. I have played, coached, refereed and watched since I was about 6 years old. When you speak of basketball coaches, no matter the level, one name stands above all of the rest: John Wooden.
“Coach,” as everyone who knew him personally referred to him, died last June at the age of 99. Had he lived to October, he would have turned 100. Coach Wooden was certainly known for his winning record at UCLA. From 1964 to 1975 his teams won an unprecedented 10 national titles in 12 seasons. His teams had an 88-game winning streak. He had four undefeated seasons, three others with one loss, and six others with five or fewer losses. He was undoubtedly a marvelous coach of the game.
But every book and story you hear about Coach Wooden talks more about the man than the coach. John Wooden was a man of great faith. He considered himself to be an educator and a shaper of young men more than a coach. Certainly he desired to succeed in his chosen profession. But he measured success by how the men he coached lived their lives, more than by wins and losses.
From every indication, Coach Wooden was a fine Christian man who “sought the kingdom of God.” And God granted him success in other areas of life. God has said to us in his Word, “Seek first the kingdom … and all these things will be added unto you.”
The kingdom of God can be defined in this way. It is God’s rule in the lives of men and women here on earth. In other words, when we obey the Lord, we are living in his kingdom.
The fact is that living kingdom-centered lives is not the norm in our world today. Most of us seek what matters most to us. We live self-centered lives, always looking out for No. 1. God wants us to seek his will first.
May I ask you this question: For what are you seeking? What are you pursuing more than anything else? God wants us to seek his kingdom. And when we do that, his blessings will be more than we can believe.
Allow me to encourage you to seek God’s kingdom in your life. You will never regret the choice to follow the Lord.