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On John Wooden

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An email from Salem senior producer Lee Habib to his friend Tony:

Tony –
What a great moment in church today to hear Pastor talk about Coach Wooden. What a man. What a life. What an example for us all. What a God we have! As Pastor Gary was talking about Coach Wooden, and about the real meaning of success – the secular and the sacred kind – I was holding back some of those tears we guys can sometimes shed when God’s full glory reveals itself.
Throughout my life, I admired Coach Wooden without knowing about his commitment to God. Ah, how the Lord loves us! And oh how he manages our lives, despite us ever fully understanding how He works.
When you have a chance, watch the videos I sent below. They are terrific, and show us all the power of The Lord – and how He moves in the lives of so many of the people we admire. Somehow, the media always manages to leave out that small point out!
I just watched a full hour of ESPN coverage and The Lord wasn’t mentioned once, nor was He mentioned in a CBS or ABC piece the other evening. It was just the facts about Coach Wooden’s character, his nature, his honor, his love of his kids, and his love of his wife. But not a word about his love of God, which trumped all, and was the absolute anchor in his life, as it is in a majority of American lives.
How do they manage this, the media? How do the manage to strip away the animating source of all – ALL – of that love?
On the other hand, when people decide to simply You Tube John Wooden, the Truth of his love of God can NOT be suppressed!
I just learned yesterday, for instance, that Wooden always carried a small cross his in his hands during his games, a cross that his minister had given him back in 1942. When you listen to the poem he recites in the last video, it will make any grown man weep.
What was so wonderful about Wooden was that – like so many of us who take our faith seriously – he didn’t impose his faith on anyone. He didn’t try to convert his players. He LIVED The Word, and he preached through the power of his example. His players were the beneficiaries of that faith, no matter their color, creed or race.
That is a a true American – and a true Christian – story!
That he never accepted more than $35,000 per year as a coach despite the fact that he could have commanded ten times that, further reveals his true character.
What a story to share with America this weekend!
And yet not a mention of his commitment to God in any of the media reports I watched. How I found the great stories of Wooden’s faith (a research team of ONE), but no one on Katie Couric’s crew, or Anderson Cooper’s, or NBC’s, or ABC’s – tells you much about our storytellers and journalists. And why their ratings just continue to plummet.
They are disconnected with their own subjects. Worse, they are even more disconnected with their own audience. And their own country.
That cross story is in the 3rd video, below. Wooden’s almost total recall of scripture is on display in some of the other videos, and made me feel quite the dilettante.
Have a Blessed day and week, and enjoy the videos, and please – please – pass this email and the links to friends and foes alike!


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