Block 7, Alertness - Bottom of the Ninth #120

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Bottom of the 9th - Alertness

Alertness - Block 7, John Wooden's Pyramid of Success by Keith Wahl

The next row of blocks in the Pyramid of Success continues with Alertness. Wooden says the following about Alertness:

We must be alert. This simply means that we observe what is going on around us. Except for what we garner through personal experience, everything else we learn comes though observation.

My father often reminded me that Abraham Lincoln had said that he had never met a person from whom he did not learn something, although most of the time it was something not to do. There is a lot of truth in that, but the point is that Lincoln was always observing and alert to what was going on around him, and he was constantly learning.

I love learning. While I am far from the stature and prominence of Lincoln, constantly soaking in experience and new material is something that excites me. Learning is a choice we can make daily, and, while perfectionism is still a personal struggle, learning draws me back to grace when mistakes are made.

In his epistle in the New Testament, 

Peter raises the stakes on this idea of Alertness:

1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) - "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.'

We see this in our culture constantly as the fruit of relativism continues to grow. Wooden encouraged his players to expand their awareness and search for truth, but was also very cautious of relativism. Wooden said:

I'm not a relativist. I don't think we are supposed to find our own truth. That's playing God. I believe in absolute truth and absolute sin, and the Bible is my standard for determining this absolutes.

Wooden's thought here is important - finding our "own truth" puts us in the driver's seat instead of God. This struggle isn't new, but has been present in the heart of man since Eve was tempted in the Garden. Satan tempted Eve to define her own truth there, and we've been fighting that temptation ever since.

In this week's ESPN article titled "I Don't Believe in God," Arian Foster gains the platform for atheists with no faith. As you read the whole story, Foster was encouraged by his father to "Go find your truth." This relativistic concept rejects the wisdom of old, putting our current human experience above that of thousands of years of human history.

With relativism all around us, we must increase our Alertness in all corners of our lives. We must also speak to the wisdom of those who came before us, especially those who walked in the presence of Christ.

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