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Monday, June 14, 2010

The Phone Call

The Young Coach waited by the phone. He wanted so much to receive a call from the University of Minnesota asking him to be their basketball coach. He had played in the Big Ten. Coaching at Minnesota would be, in a sense, like coming home. The appointed time of 6:00 P.M. came and went. He was disappointed.

At 7:00 P. M., the phone rang. It was from another school out west. The facilities at this college campus were terrible—below the standards of even some high schools. The university did not play in a league as prestigious as the Big Ten. The outlook there did not look as bright as in Minnesota. Still, they called at the appointed time—7:00 P.M. He accepted their offer to coach their men’s basketball team.

At 8:00 P.M., representatives from the University of Minnesota called. There had been a terrible snowstorm. The phone lines had been down. They wished to offer him the job. He told them no.

Frantically, they explained that circumstances beyond anyone’s control had intervened. He could understandably call the other school back and explain to them what had occurred.

Again, he told them his answer was no. He had given his word.

The young coach’s name was John Wooden. The job he accepted was UCLA. Little did he know, when he accepted the UCLA job, he was sitting on a talent gold mine or that he and UCLA would change basketball history. Hear much about the University of Minnesota basketball program?

Wooden harbored no doubts that his life would have turned out different had he gone back on his word. Jesus said that we should let our yes be yes, and our no, no. Obedience to him should be reward enough. Still, it is nice to see John Wooden enjoy the consequences of his decision.

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