I was watching March madness, as I try to every Spring (my bracket was busted after 14Georgia St. took 3Baylor). I saw up-sets, close calls, and heart breaking defeats. I heard players and coaches interviewed after each game giving their thoughts on how they played, but one caught my attention. Coach Roy Williams of UNC had once been assistant coach to legendary Dean Smith.
Coach Dean Smith died this past year at 83 suffering with dementia. His memory might have been confused, but all his players, fellow coaches, and friends remember him quite clearly. They recall not just what he taught them about the game on the court, but about how to live their lives. His door was always open to talk about grades, home problems, even marriage later on. They knew that Coach Smith expected the best from them both on and off the court and they didn’t want to disappoint him.
When Coach Williams was asked about his mentor and friend, Dean Smith, he responded that not a day goes by that he doesn’t wake up and think “What is one thing I can do today to make Coach Smith proud of me?”
That one statement hit me – If there is a man who could inspire players and coaches to want to please him even after he is dead – How much greater we as Christians should be waking up each day saying the same thing to Jesus! Too often we think of Jesus as remote and distant instead of realizing that he is daily right here beside us like a coach. The door of his heart is always open – to talk about grades, home problems, even marriages. Jesus is always right by our side ready to listen, laugh with us, or lighten our load. Wouldn’t it be great if more of us woke up each morning and thought, “What one thing can I do today to make Jesus proud?”