Story of the Day for Friday June 1, 2012
“It’s What You Know after You Know It All That Counts.”
Instruct a wise person, and he will be wiser still. Teach a righteous person, and he will increase his learning.
Hoagy Carmichael rarely let the facts bully him around when he had a good story to tell. So, according to one version, his first day golfing went like this:
His golf instructor patiently showed him how to hold the club, how to stand, how to follow through. After a half hour of instruction, Hoagy teed up on the first hole and smacked the ball down the fairway. It rolled onto the green and dropped in for a hole in one. Hoagy flipped the club to a caddy, and said to the dumbstruck instructor, “Okay, I think I’ve got the idea now.”
We can only hope that Hoagy Carmichael’s instruction didn’t end there. But it is true that accomplishment can be one of the greatest hindrances to growth.
Contrast Carmichael’s attitude with professional golfers. The top golfers in the PGA depend on their coaches to help them improve every day. I listened to an interview where one of the world’s top golfers spoke about his preparation. He didn’t say, “I’m getting ready for the Masters . . .” but “We’re getting ready for the Masters, and one day we just took a day off – which we normally do, but . . .” He viewed his career in terms of himself and his coach.
Best-selling author, Steven Pressfield, says, “The student of the game knows that the levels of revelation that can unfold in golf, as in any art, are inexhaustible.”
If “the levels of revelation” in golf are inexhaustible, how much more is the knowledge of the living God? Yet, sadly, our growth in biblical knowledge can become the very thing that hinders further understanding of the ways of the Lord. Once we’ve learned more than we used to know, we begin to feel like we know it all. And that is where growth stops.
The wise person is one who is humble enough to admit there is always more to learn.
John Wooden is rightly considered the greatest college basketball coach of all time. He took a faltering program at UCLA and transformed it into a powerhouse – winning ten national championships.
Wooden listened to others. When Wooden’s players were shorter-than-average, his assistant coach, Jerry Norman, persuaded him that a zone press defense would work. It won them a national championship.
But then Wooden got a tall, talented player. After winning a national championship with one style of play, he decided to scrap it and learn a completely new system that exploited the talents of Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). The result: three more national championships with Alcindor.