Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A life well lived

I'm beginning to feel better.  It may have something to do with getting my first real night's sleep last night in over two weeks.  It's amazing how one can handle the remaining symptoms when not sleep deprived.  I know I'm getting better because I'm thinking of new posts I want to write (as opposed to having trouble opening the laptop to let you know I am alive).

The life well lived is John Wooden.  In my part of the world, his death (even though expected at age 99) was important enough to bring on a Breaking News Alert while watching the local Fox channel one evening.  I found it interesting that ESPN News morphed into a Johnny Wooden memorial not long after that.  It became fascinating how many times the name of Jesus was mentioned, not often heard on ESPN.  That was because one could not separate John from his Lord.

It isn't the fact he was voted the greatest coach of the 20th century that inspires (that is... my friends... the greatest coach of any and all sports in the entire United States... for one hundred years).  For me, what made him great was living a lifetime on the UCLA campus and being salt and light as a Christian, and accepting success gracefully.

His dream job was to return to Purdue (where he had been a star player) as head coach.  That was where his heart led him.  Instead first circumstances and later success kept him in California.   He not only survived at UCLA but excelled, bringing the Truth of the Gospel to hundreds upon hundreds of young people not so much in what he said... but in the way he lived his life.

His story reminds me that man may plan his way but it is truly God who directs his path.  Sometimes the journey we are on makes no sense while we are walking in it.  I expect for a long time, Wooden couldn't understand why he and his wife could not return to their beloved Midwest.  Now, looking back... I doubt he would have changed anything.  God sees it all, the entire tapestry He is weaving.

I watched an interview he had given just months before his death.  He was asked if he feared death.  He said not at all... he was looking forward to going to Heaven and seeing his beloved wife again.  He had no doubts that Heaven was real and she was there.  She was the only girl he had ever kissed.  :)

I thought of that when I heard he had passed on and it made me smile.


Vee said...

That makes me smile, too. It's a wonderful testimony when Christians face death and are perfectly at peace. Quite another when one faces death and there is none.

So glad that you are feeling better and you made me laugh with the reason how you knew. Looking forward to reading all those posts that you are thinking about.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I just love that little story--so sweet--and so rare these days!!!

Glad to hear you have been able to sleep--I know how sleep deprivation hinders healing.

Jane said...

What a beautiful tribute to a life well-lived!
Glad you're feeling better at last!
I enjoy your blog.

Jane - Jacksonville

Mrs. Staggs said...

I too, admired John Wooden greatly, and only a few days ago, sent links to his quotes to my son, for a little inspiration, as he was facing a couple of challenges, and I knew he would appreciate not only John Wooden's words as a coach, but as a good man. He found his inspiration in his Christian faith, but I think that anyone, Christian, or not can find much in the way that he lived his life, that will inspire them.